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2024: The Year of the Manager ... and the opportunity to unlock hidden talent ACROSS YOUR ORG

Updated: Feb 19

Every business leader that I speak with recently is wrestling with some version of the same (or similar) challenges.

  1. Attracting and retaining top talent

  2. Supporting that talent in being high-performing and agile (because let’s face it, the pace and complexity of change is capital “B” Big)

  3. Creating the workplace culture and dynamics where that talent can thrive (and not burnout)

The biggest opportunity to impact all 3 of these critical business drivers is via managers.

We have the data that paints a grim picture:

And the data that shows the MASSIVE opportunity - organizations who invest in quality leadership development practices are:

  • 3 x more likely to exceed financial targets

  • 12x more likely to engage and retain employees

  • 17x more likely to be a great place to work

When it comes to building your managers, it's wise to look at this as an investment vs an expense. The cost of NOT investing is likely buried somewhere in your P&L, but it's STAGGERING when you consider costs of medical leaves, turnover, conflict and lack of engagement and productivity.

Here are 3 pathways to build manager skillsets, ranging from the we have limited budget so must do-it-ourselves internally, to we are ready to make a real commitment and “go all in”.

DIY - This is not the recommended approach, but if you can’t find budget for leadership development, there are some simple things you can do to start to prioritize management development. Some ideas include:

  • Create a mechanism for managers to get feedback from those that report to them. This can be easily incorporated in your performance review processes.

  • Develop a set of manager guidelines which set out clear expectations of what it means to be a manager in your org (consider specific outcomes like frequency of 1:1 meetings, but also very important + less tangible topics like how company values translate to specific manager behaviors)

  • Run internal workshops with leaders on your team that exemplify certain skills (leading with empathy, running inclusive meetings, etc.) or use resources such as TED talks to spark important conversations. This TED talk from Frances Frei on rebuilding trust could act as a great conversation starter.

Committed - Hire an external facilitator who can assess your team's most important growth areas, and create a series of learning experiences that are tailored to your organization and which maximize learning and retention. This approach allows you to leverage the expertise and objectivity of someone outside of your organization (so important when identifying blind spots and "stuckpoints"). Also, an expert facilitator offering a multi-month, multi-modal learning experience group provides for a much deeper learning experience (and ROI) than what can ever be achieved in a one-off workshop or conference experience.

All-In on Creating Results - Do everything recommended above, and supplement it with 1:1 leadership coaching for all members of your executive and leadership team. This approach gives your organization the best chances of making meaningful change, because you are addressing both individual development and the system that you are working in. As we all know, it all starts at the top, so if we expect our managers to lead in a certain way - our executives need to do the same.

If you’re looking for the help of an external facilitator, let’s talk. Send me an email at

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