Queen's University IRC

Leadership Sustainability: A Framework to Sustain Culture Shifts


Beverley Patwell
Queen’s IRC Facilitator

October 30, 2014

Sustainable Leadership Development FrameworkOrganizations that seek to create and sustain culture shifts must do more than train leaders to lead and manage in new ways. They must also be effective in developing people at all levels of the organization to sustain these culture shifts. Leading, developing and managing people in real time is critical for the long-term success of culture shifts.

This type of human development is complex. It must be aligned with the strategic priorities of the organization yet have meaning and relevance not just for leaders but for everyone if it is to be sustainable over time. Change must be adopted at all levels of the organization and incorporated into the core of thinking and behavior in the organization. As a result, we need to look at leadership development differently in terms of how we learn, transmit knowledge, develop skills and how we measure and evaluate it.

My company, Patwell Consulting, has been developing and implementing large scale, complex leadership development programs for over three decades. Based on years of research and practice in large organizations, I have created unique design elements in my programs aimed at sustainable leadership that focuses on helping leaders to play an active role in leading change, transmitting their knowledge, and dealing with business challenges. These elements that I will discuss, go far beyond the classroom to engage people at all levels and achieve results that embed and sustain culture shifts in organizations.

This article synthesizes my experiences in developing a Sustainable Leadership Development Framework. This framework moves through four stages that help build and ground the implementation of an organization’s leadership development strategy through a vision and strategic steps that result in lasting organizational culture shifts. Examples of wise practices will be given to highlight the key concepts of this framework so that you too can use these strategies to increase the potential of leadership sustainability in your organization.

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