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E-Tools That Help Teach Leadership

E-Tools That Help Teach Leadership

By Marshall Goldsmith | Business Week

June 24, 2009

Software is in the works that eventually will be able to use expertise from all around the world to help develop leaders

I am very excited about the possibilities that are emerging in using new technology to develop leaders. While much work needs to be done, progress is being made. I believe that ultimately, e-learning tools will be used as both stand-alone and supplemental aids in developing leaders of the future. Here are some of the reasons why I am excited about the possibilities of e-leadership development and why I believe new technology can be used to facilitate the development of leaders.

Accessing best-in-class thought leaders

Let’s say you are looking for help with a specific topic, such as dealing with poor performers. In-person advice from a top coach or expert would likely be cost-prohibitive. But e-learning—downloading or playing a few short videos—can be a cost-effective way to get information from top thought leaders. E-learning ultimately can provide experts for any challenge that leaders may face.

Getting help when and where it is needed

Traditional courses aren’t always the most effecient way to learn something. Everyone in the room hears the same content at the same time. In the future, online courses will be developed that permit leaders to skip less relevant material and focus on precisely what they need, when they need it. Online courses will ultimately be tailored for the company, the leader, and the issue—and will be available when and where they can be of most use.

Learning from around the world

Traditionally, the vast majority of training and development instructors have come from the same country as the participants in the program, or even the same locality. E-solutions will soon be available that help leaders learn from the best experts around the world. As organizations become increasingly global, this capability becomes increasingly relevant. Cross-cultural understanding will be a key variable that differentiates the global leader of the future from the domestic leader of the past. E-learning can help provide a range of instructors with specific expertise in different cultures and regions of the world.