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  • Dr Elizabeth King

Collusion with Denial

Breaking the Cycle of Collusion with Denial: The Importance of Reflective Evaluation in Leadership Development

As the lead author of a research paper titled "Collusion with denial: leadership development and its evaluation," I write to share some insights with fellow leaders on the significance of reflective evaluation in leadership development programs. Our study highlights the shortcomings of traditional evaluation methods and emphasizes the benefits of shifting towards a reflective evaluation model for more effective leadership development.

Here are some reasons why adopting a reflective evaluation approach is essential for leaders in today's complex and challenging environments:

Unveiling the true impact of leadership development: Traditional evaluation methods often lead to a form of collusion with denial between suppliers and purchasers of leadership development programs. By focusing on reflective evaluation, we can break this cycle and gain a deeper understanding of the actual impact of these programs on participants' cognitive and behavioral development.

Enhanced understanding of program impact: Reflective evaluation can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the broader impact of leadership development programs. By exploring the connections between participants' development experiences, work environments, and approach to challenges, we can tailor programs to suit the unique needs of each leader.

Stronger strategic alignment: An increased understanding of the impact of leadership development programs can play a significant role in aligning business strategy, program purpose, learning objectives, program design, and evaluation. This alignment is crucial for organizations to ensure that their leadership development initiatives deliver the desired outcomes and foster a culture of continuous growth and improvement.

Improved program design: By incorporating qualitative evaluation techniques and focusing on post-learning reflection, we can enhance the design of leadership development programs. This approach allows for a more accurate assessment of the success of the programs and helps in identifying areas for improvement, ultimately leading to better outcomes for participants and organizations.

It is essential to break away from the cycle of collusion with denial in leadership development and its evaluation. By embracing reflective evaluation, we can better understand the impact of leadership development programs on participants and organizations, ensuring more effective and adaptive leaders who can navigate the complexities of today's business environment.

Let's invest in leadership development programs that focus on reflective evaluation, fostering growth, resilience, and adaptability among our leaders. The true value of a leadership development program lies not in adhering to traditional evaluation practices but in empowering our leaders with the tools and insights they need to thrive in an ever-changing world.

For further reading see the full paper here:

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