According to a report by Harvard Business' 2016 State of Leadership, over half of the organizations surveyed planned to increase spending on leadership programs. However, there is a scarcity of readily available leaders who possess the necessary skills and experience. In a 2013 survey, many recent graduates expect to be trained by their first employers, however, only 48% received formal training. Many companies have since been providing technology-based training to combat the soft-skills gap with fresh graduates.
Since then, there has been countless ways technology can improve leadership development, from using one's own computer to possibly using advanced virtual technology. Here are five ways to develop your leadership through tech.
Many of the online learning websites such as Coursera, Udemy, and FutureLearn offer leadership and management courses. MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses provide free classes on a variety of topics such as software development, and tech startup courses, among a wide variety of courses.
e-Learning is a good option to develop soft skills or further leadership growth due to its convenience and low-cost. Most online classes provide an avenue for discussion in the comments section for students to discuss their thoughts and insights making online courses a more dynamic learning experience.
Most online courses also provide accredited certificates so putting that knowledge on your resume is possible. Knowing what it takes to be a successful leader is easily available at the tip of your fingertips.
Online Educational Videos
The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain | TED Talk
Many online video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo offer educational content including leadership talks. A popular educational content channel on YouTube is TED featuring short talks from experts or from people who have been meaning to share relevant topics. Watching educational videos on business and management is a convenient way technology can improve leadership development and business skills without the commitment needed, unlike online courses.
Professional Social Media
Professional online platforms like LinkedIn provide networks from different industries at all levels. Connecting with other professionals gives the opportunity of discussing business proposals and other topics of interest in the industry. This ensures, not only a range of connections but also the chance to be influenced by industry leaders who are at the top of their game. Being surrounded by other leaders also motivates in building a strong leadership skill.
Data and Analytics
Using data and analytics could give insight into what works and what doesn't work in honing a successful leader. Analytics can also use data to predict future leadership needs. Data gives a concrete outcome that tells whether a leadership development is actually working. Companies could benefit from doing this to further improve the capabilities of their workforce, especially their managers.
Using this method, a Development Dimensions International (DDI) research found out that emphatic leaders perform 40% higher in overall performance, planning, organizing, decision-making, coaching and engaging others. Listening and responding with empathy is one important interaction skill needed to be a successful leader as the research suggests. Being able to know information pertinent to leadership growth in a company is a good means to strategize what would be a suitable leadership training for managers or team leads.
As one of the more advanced ways technology can improve leadership development, Virtual simulations can help a student, such as an aspiring pilot or military man, to practice in a safe environment. Simulations increase motivation and retention, with some of its elements incorporating video game features. Through the application, they are able to demonstrate their skills and learned concepts.
The virtual simulation could also be an option for business leadership development. The idea of aspiring entrepreneurs running a simulated business to test their skills, knowledge, and strategies and then receive feedback seems like a good idea to provide an on-the-job training ground inside a safe space. The concept might be perfect for Universities. However, this would need time to develop for a full running simulation and would definitely cost millions.
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