Since finding out that Communication and Humility are the top two traits of effective leaders (TLNT 2013), I have been wondering how much companies spend on “team building” and leadership development. In my research, I have come across a couple of key stats; first that the UK “corporate hospitality” industry (which incorporates team building) is worth £1.5 billion (Fresh Business Thinking; January 2013) and second that in the US, companies are spending an average of $706 per learner on team building (TLNT 2013).
Add to this the result of a survey by Vodafone and YouGov, which suggests workers feel that organized team building activities can be a complete waste of time (Vodafone 2013) and another article, that claims workers would much prefer to be able to communicate with each other better at work than be forced to build rapport with co-workers by sharing “adrenaline” experiences or “trust” exercises (telegraph Feb 2012).
Combining the evidence I have come across so far, it appears that organisations are spending a lot of money on programmes which aren’t considered effective by their audience. Surely, there has to be a more effective solution for businesses investing in developing their leaders. Something which challenges employees to improve communication, a new challenge which still focuses on their day to day role.
My research into Jobsharing so far, has uncovered that far from creating new challenges within organisations, Jobsharing simply brings to the surface issues inherent within all organisations, and indeed in personal relationships. A successful Jobshare tests effective communication, organisation, and importantly, humility; the ability to learn from another and take on board the ideas of others to come up with a way forward together. All of which are crucial traits of effective leaders.
Perhaps therefore, a period of “required jobsharing” would be an effective addition to a leadership development programme? This could be with someone in a different department, someone phasing into retirement, or new skills being brought into an organisation part-time as a Jobshare. Importantly, Jobsharing doesn’t have to be restricted to part-time, personally, I have experience of working a Jobshare full-time and part-time. Incorporating Required Jobsharing into Leadership development would be a development opportunity for both full-time and part-time candidates.
Imagine a workplace where flexible working and leadership development were harmoniously supported. Bingo!