By Wally Bock
A report from the Said Business School at Oxford University in
the UK found that British businesses and public sector
organizations are wasting almost $140 million on executive
education programs that are poorly conceived and delivered.
The study went on to say that 35 per cent of HR directors and
21 per cent of other executives believed that their current
training and development programs were meeting corporate
strategic objectives. The bulk of the money was being spent on
individually developed courses for senior executives.
If those businesses want to quit wasting all that money on bad
management training, I know where they can get their moneys
worth. And it doesn't have anything to do with having more
academics design special courses, events, and outings for
Here's a novel idea folks. Why not spend your money on
leadership training and development down in the trenches,
it will really do some good?
Most companies don't do nearly enough of that. In 2003, just 7
percent of training budgets in the US were spent on first line
leaders and most of that was for learning administrivia and
The fact is that front line leaders don't get much training at
all and precious little of it is actually about leadership
skills. Maybe that's because companies think they're saving
money by not investing in front line leader training.
True, there's no budget line item absorbing funds that might
spent on the executive dining room, or art for the CEO's
But there are what economists call "opportunity costs," the
costs of not training front line leaders.
There's the opportunity cost of lost productivity. Good
frontline leadership builds both morale and profitability.
There's the opportunity cost of lost leadership. Great
companies develop most of their own leaders. If you have to go
outside for leadership you incur recruitment costs and
Finally, there's the cost of lawsuits. Good frontline
leadership creates organizations where lawsuits are less
likely. And, ff the company is sued over a supervision issue,
defense will be easier if the leaders have been doing their
How about your company? Do you develop your own leaders? Do
help them develop the skills they need to improve morale and
productivity and avoid lawsuits? Think about that the next
you consider the training budget.
About The Author: Wally Bock is an author, speaker, consultant
and coach who helps leaders improve the performance and morale
of their teams. Wally's latest book is Performance Talk: The
One-on-One Part of Leadership
Find tips and resources about leadership at the Three Star
Leadership site (www.threestarleadership.com).