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The Future of Management: Why Leaders Must Evolve Through Cohort-Based Training

August 25, 20233 min read

Management was never easy. But the events of the past few years have confronted managers with unprecedented challenges. Rapid digital transformation, remote and hybrid work, social unrest, economic uncertainty, and a once-in-a-century pandemic have combined to reshape leadership seemingly overnight.

In this chaotic environment, merely relying on past experience or intuition is no longer sufficient. Today's managers need cutting-edge skills and strategies to lead successfully. They must become agile, empathetic, and digitally fluent coaches who can foster engagement, collaboration, and resilience.

Yet research shows most are unprepared. According to a LinkedIn survey, nearly 60% of managers say they lack the updated capabilities needed to effectively lead modern teams. Meanwhile, Gallup finds that only 35% of employees are engaged at work.

Clearly, a massive management training gap exists. Fortunately, the solution is emerging in a proven yet underutilized model: the cohort-based leadership program.

The Management Training Imperative  

With managers influencing up to 70% of employee engagement, development is a strategic priority. Consider these statistics:

  • Organizations with strong management training see 50% higher employee retention rates, according to the Achievers Workforce Institute.

  • Leadership development initiatives deliver an 800% return on investment, per the American Society for Training and Development.

  • Companies that prioritize management growth enjoy 22% greater profitability, according to Dale Carnegie research.

  • The cost of employee disengagement from poor leadership is estimated at 34% of salary by Engage IQ.

Effective management equals operational excellence and cost savings from reduced turnover. But the stakes extend beyond engagement.

Management Skills Drive Business Performance

Empowered managers directly impact results across the organization.

  • Gallup finds that businesses with highly engaged workforces see 21% greater profitability.

  • A Watson Wyatt study revealed that companies with superior human capital management achieve 26% greater productivity.

  • Organizations with strong learning cultures enjoy revenue growth 2.5 times greater than competitors, per Bersin research.

The data is clear: developing management capabilities drives productivity, innovation, revenue, and profitability. But how do leaders obtain these new superpowers? This is where cohort-based training comes in.

The Power of Collective Learning  

While many managers receive some skills training, most is delivered through ineffective siloed methods:

  • Conferences offer inspiration but lack reinforcement, application, and accountability.

  • Books and articles provide information but no feedback, networking, or customization.

  • 1:1 Executive coaching is impactful but expensive to scale.

  • Self-paced online courses alone suffer from low completion rates due to isolation.

  • Company training tends to recycle dated concepts rather than embrace cutting-edge thinking.

In contrast, the cohort-based model brings participants together in an intimate peer community. Small groups of managers from diverse industries learn new mindsets and tools while collaborating on real-world applications.

The Benefits of Cohort-Based Programs

  • Shared growth journey: participants connect through a months-long developmental experience.

  • Camaraderie and expanded perspectives- cohorts bond and gain insight from peers across roles, companies, and industries.

  • Ongoing practice and feedback - managers continuously apply learnings and refine skills within a trusted circle.

  • Accountability - the group motivation effect inspires completion of challenging assignments. 

  • Networking - relationships often become lasting connections for problem-solving and idea exchange long after programs end.

  • Hybrid model - live virtual workshops, ongoing online modules, plus coaching and peer learning—provides maximum flexibility and impact.

For today's rapid-change environment, cohort-based management training is the gold standard. And programs centered on emotional intelligence and empathy help leaders connect with team members on a human level.

The future is relationship-focused, digitally savvy, strengths-based management. Cohort learning accelerates the skilling modern managers need - together. The collective growth effect ignites transformation far beyond what any individual could achieve alone.

When managers evolve, they transform team member engagement, performance, and lives. If you want to future-proof your leadership development, the time for isolated learning is over. The cohort calls for connection.

Let's Talk! Ready to empower your managers? Learn more about our upcoming open enrollment Management Hybrid Cohort Program kicking off on  October 4th and schedule a call to see if it's a fit for yourself and/or rising stars within your leadership team. Together, we can equip managers to thrive today and into the future.

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