Skillsoft Blog

Leadership Learning Prevails at the Height of a Crisis

November 11, 2020 | by Lyndsay Mountz


The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lesson or two — that our work can be disrupted at a moment’s notice and we must be prepared for a changing workplace. For the Learning and Development (L&D) community, the challenges have been intense and overwhelming. Many instructor-led courses (ILT) were canceled, more teams moved to remote work, and new safety training needs became a priority. And those are just a few of the challenges. Despite the uncertainty, many people took advantage of the slowdown to build new competencies.

In turbulent times, strong leaders are apparent as they demonstrate resilience and the ability to develop innovative solutions to problems. They are laser-focused on outcomes and achievement even though they face obstacles. During COVID-19, here are some of the most in-demand leadership course areas:

  1. Emotional intelligence. Leaders with emotional intelligence have the skills to relate well to those around them. They know how to navigate relationships more effectively and are usually successful in their personal and professional lives. This course area helps leaders understand why emotional intelligence is important and offers positive techniques for improvement within a business environment.
  2. Resilience. Becoming a resilient leader means getting back up after you’ve been knocked down. All companies face setbacks, and that’s been especially true during the pandemic. Building the skills to achieve goals despite hurdles requires grit, persistence, and adaptability. Leaders seek this type of course content to ensure they are prepared to thrive in an ever-changing and more competitive business environment.
  3. Leading virtual teams. For many organizations, teams are settling into working remotely. That trend seems to be continuing for the foreseeable future. This presents new challenges and opportunities. Leaders seek this type of course to acquire insights on how they can provide connections and happiness, tools/resources, and ensure successful and positive outcomes with a distributed team.
  4. Innovation. In a fast-changing work environment, survival depends on being able to innovate successfully. And leadership plays an important role by developing and supporting a culture that is open to a creative, innovative mindset. Leaders who want to encourage creativity need to create a culture where debate and learning come together to inspire great work.
  5. Coaching. Many great leaders are also great coaches. Coaches who make an impact don’t talk much, but instead, they listen and ask lots of questions. Coaches also need to show their people that they care about their future. Coaching first-time managers is an especially important area. It’s incumbent on leaders to help their first-time managers be mindful of the impact that their role has on the organization.

A journey of change and continuous learning

During a global pandemic, the last thing you’d probably be thinking about is launching a new learning platform. But that did not stop CGI — a global IT and consulting firm that delivers complex IT services to clients in 40 different countries.

CGI is a unique company. It doesn’t have employees, but instead, it has “members” who are consultants and part owners of the company. Its members are its greatest asset and are encouraged to take control of their learning. The company passionately believes that if a member continues to evolve and grow, it does too.

In April of 2020, CGI launched a customized digital learning platform using Skillsoft learning content and CGI’s specialized training materials. This was no simple task with learners all over the globe, speaking multiple languages, and needing to master some complex topics.

Since starting up, it’s logged an amazing 500,000 hours of learning, with over 50% of its members participating. During the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, it was able to reskill many of its team members into open roles, avoiding furloughs. By enabling a continuous learning mindset through a powerful digital learning experience solution, CGI is better prepared for today and whatever the future may bring.

Reimagine your learning experience

If your L&D leadership strategy has gotten off track, digital learning can help you refocus your efforts on the competencies that employees need right now and prepare them for the road ahead. Encouraging employees to make time for learning can bring greater levels of employee engagement and drive productivity.

The Skillsoft Leadership Development Program (SLDP) is powered by MIT Sloan Management Review, the preeminent content leader at the intersection of business and technology. SLDP addresses the changing way in which leaders must develop to ensure continued growth for themselves and their organizations.

To learn more about Skillsoft leadership courses, request free access or request a demo.

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