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Why evaluation is important to us


Juliette Phillipson - 2024

Globally, more than £300 billion is spent per year on leadership development, yet many programmes rely on superficial feedback to evaluate their success. We believe that effective evaluation of courses is essential to facilitate ongoing development and to help organisations increase their internal capacity to deliver effective leadership development, ensuring that the time, effort, and resources invested in these programmes deliver the intended outcomes and benefits.

Benefits of programme evaluation include:

  • Motivation and Engagement: Evaluation can also serve to motivate participants by tracking their progress and development. Reflecting on their experiences and recognising improvements in their leadership abilities can boost their confidence and engagement, both with the programme and their everyday roles.

  • Outcome Assessment: Evaluation helps determine whether a leadership development intervention is achieving its goals. It measures how effectively the programme enhances leadership skills, behaviours, and competencies among participants. This is crucial to justify the investment in these programmes and to assess their impact on individual and organisational performance.

  • Feedback for Improvement: Through evaluation, we can gather feedback from participants and other stakeholders about the strengths and weaknesses of the programme. This feedback is invaluable for making necessary adjustments and improvements to future iterations of the programme, ensuring that it remains relevant and effective over time.

  • ROI Calculation: Leadership development programmes often require significant investment. Evaluating these interventions helps organisations calculate the return on investment (ROI). This can be evidenced by improvements in leadership quality, increased productivity and staff satisfaction, as well as longer-term outcomes such as career progression and staff retention. Calculating ROI can inform decisions about continuing, expanding, or modifying leadership development initiatives.

  • Identifying Best Practices: Regular evaluation of different leadership development interventions can help to identify the most effective content and teaching methodologies. These insights can be shared across the organisation or disseminated more broadly, e.g., as a publication in a scientific journal. This can add to the growing body of scientific evidence used to inform and enhance leadership development.

In summary, the evaluation of leadership development interventions is essential not just for validating their effectiveness but also for refining these programmes to better serve the needs of the participants and the organisations as a whole. Using a range of methods developed in academic and industry research, we explore participant reactions, learning, changes in behaviour, as well as the organisational outcomes of our programmes. In addition to evaluating our own programmes, we have externally evaluated local, national, and international leadership development programmes.

We specialise in tailored programme evaluations. We use a range of qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques as most appropriate for each programme. Whether it's a needs analysis, a start-to-finish evaluation, a post-programme evaluation, a series of interviews and focus groups, or the design of questionnaires, we can tailor a comprehensive evaluation to collect the critical informative data.

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