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75. Most leadership and development initiatives don't work. Here’s why…

Organizations spend a ridiculous amount of money on leadership and development (L&D) initiatives. But do they actually move the needle? Most of them don’t, and here’s why.

Many L&D initiatives do a one-time data dump. Participants take assessments, they’re then given reports, and then they work with a facilitator and their team to discuss what they’ve learned.

This doesn’t align with best practices in pedagogical research. It’s information overload. If the goal is retention and long-term behavior change, organizations should consider two important factors.

First, focus on smaller, micro-interventions, sometimes called “nudges.”

This aligns with information processing research. We can only process a few bits of information at once. If we want to move from attention, to working memory, to long-term memory, insight must be broken down into smaller, digestible pieces.

Second, focus on ongoing, long-term interactions. Consistently and repeatedly getting unique and contextualized insights are key to continuous learning.

Stop investing in initiatives that don’t work. It’s time to incorporate what we know about the science of how people actually learn.


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