How do we run leadership programs that are evidence-based?

Based on a meta-analysis(1) by Lacerenza and others (2017), leadership programs do lead to improvements in organisational results. To get results, though, we need to use multiple delivery methods and multiple sessions, hold programs on-site, require mandatory attendance, provide as much training as possible and include personal skills.

Lacerenza analysed 335 studies on evaluating leadership training and their analysis is in opposition to common assumptions that leadership skills cannot be taught and that leadership training is not useful.

More of their important findings include:

  • Conducting a needs analysis to identify desired outcomes – seems obvious, hey?
  • Use caution when using 360-degree feedback and using self-training
  • Use practice-based delivery eg coaching sessions that include in-between workplace practice.


(1) What’s meta-analysis? Meta-analysis is one of the most important types of research that analyses many pieces of published research on a specific topic. A meta-analysis is much more than a literature review as it uses statistics to find what’s really important.

Focus: Tim’s focus is on ‘big picture’ strategy coaching, both individually and for teams. He also has a passion for change management and leadership development. He welcomes opportunities to develop people in both public and private sector.

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