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Is There an App for Leadership Development?
Mobile apps will soon offer robust tools for leadership and managerial development. The possibilities are endless and important, especially when paired with traditional course development and coaching.
In January 2012, Deloitte and Forbes Insights published “Talent Edge 2020,” a study of matters weighing on executives’ minds. The respondents cited leadership as their most pressing talent concern. In 2011, in the midst of the recession, Duke’s Corporate Education group found the same appetite for leader and manager development.
Quality is a concern, however. Many remain skeptical about the shift in leader development focus into performance and habits, and executives are looking for better ways to develop and support their managers and leaders. Many have begun to turn to mobile devices. Conferences such as Performance Support 2012 and mLearnCon, books by writers such as Clark Quinn and David Metcalf, and online resources such as Judy Brown’s blog mLearnopedia pique interest and cause some to wonder if phones and tablets can boost leader and manager development. Are there apps with potential to build skills and encourage performance?
Mobile devices allow learning to happen in the midst of life and work through ready access to the LMS, apps, modules, podcasts, vodcasts and social media. A seller can review a new sales strategy by listening to podcasts that illustrate the approach. A service rep can use scarce, unscheduled moments to fulfill compliance requirements through scenario-based e-learning modules. A coach can Skype with an employee to review production numbers, and then brainstorm alternative ways to present data. A new employee can browse social networks for insight into how an organization really works.
Mobile devices also can help cope with budget pain. Rear Adm. Steve Mehling, the U.S. Coast Guard officer in charge of learning, wrote of financial benefits: “We do a little with mobile in the Coast Guard, but we’d certainly like to do a lot more. For example, we recently shifted to iPad-based instruction for most of our Leadership Development Center courses. This provides us the cost savings of not having to print course handouts and reference materials, and it provides students with quick access to other forms of research materials, both in class and during off hours.”
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