New Movements in Leadership Development, pt 4

November 3, 2009 - Mac Lake - Leadership Development

People are very selective in how they use their discretionary time these days.  In large, this is why we hear church leaders complaining they can’t get people to come out for training events.  It’s not that people don’t want development, they just live busy and complex lives.  This is why we have to rethink our leadership development delivery system.   The Fourth Movement I see in Leadership Development is HI-TECH, HI-TOUCH APPROACH.

Because we live in a Hi-tech society many organizations are now capitalizing on technology and providing their leadership development content online.  But if you simply put courses online and expect people to work their way through the content and “be trained” you will be disappointed.  The Hi-tech approach is not enough on it’s own…it must be combined with a Hi Touch element.  This means providing the content online but ensuring the learner then engages with a coach or mentor to debrief their learning experience. 

Using this approach you can provide training any time, any place at any pace.  For example, I am currently acting as a mentor for a Rockbridge Seminary student.  This week he will do his course work online at his own discretion and pacing, then we will meet on Saturday via a phone call to debrief and discuss what he is learning.  This combination is intended to move the learner beyond information to transformation.  

Making the move to a Hi-Tech, Hi Touch approach is not an easy one…

1. You must be willing to decentralize your training efforts.  Traditionally churches have centralized their training by having potential leaders come to the church building where a professional clergy provides the necessary training.  In the Hi-Tech, Hi-Touch model multiple leaders are empowered and encouraged to equip other potential leaders any time and any place.

2. You must take the time to get an understanding of the available technologies.  This can be frustrating because of the ever changing improvements with technology.  At Seacoast we currently use an on-line education management software called Moodle to house our online leadership classes.  This was a learning curve for all of us.

3. You must make the decision: Are we going to develop our own content or find existing content?  Because we live in a content rich world, I would recommend using existing content.  It is easy to copy embed codes from Youtube or Vimeo sites and insert videos into the training platform of your choice.

4. You must be patient.  It takes time to make this shift in your culture.  Start slow, simple and small and allow it to become a viral movement in your culture.

Check out the following sites that can be used in developing leaders…

Check back tomorrow – I will be posting session one of the new Seacoast Small Group Leader Training.

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

2 responses to New Movements in Leadership Development, pt 4

  1. Your observation that people are very selective about discretionary and time not much interested in training events rings SO true. I think your approach has huge potential, and I can see that Hi-Tech without Hi-Touch loses too much. Great series, thanks for sharing!

    The sites you mention are all ‘focused’ training for specific church roles – what do you do / recommend for broader development topics that would be applicable for leaders in and outside of church? (conflict resolution, leading with your strengths, vision casting, character, how to mentor…)

    (BTW, I’m not sure your last link is correct, do you mean, an electronics vendor, or the seminary ?)

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Mac Lake » Blog Archive » Small Group Leader Training Session 1 - November 4, 2009

    […] three years now at Seacoast Church we have been using a Hi-tech, Hi-Touch online approach for our small group leader training.  However, we noticed some deficiencies in our old training […]

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