• John C. Howes, Ph.D.

Eight Organizational and HR Opportunities that qChange Leader Experience Management Can Address

This blog outlines eight unique opportunities that exist within HR and organizations and highlights how qChange can significantly assist by improving leader, team, and organizational performance.

1. The Elevation of the Human Resources (HR) Function

The HR function has always been critical. The highest-performing organizations are those with forward-thinking, strategic, and agile HR functions. HR in these organizations continually listens to their organization and reacts appropriately, focuses on current and future talent needs, and executes HR fundamentals flawlessly. The global pandemic has significantly elevated the visibility and impact of HR, with numerous articles highlighting the criticality and elevated role of HR through COVID 19[1].

2. The Expanded Role with Contracted Budgets

This opportunity for HR arrives with the unique challenge of significant budget cuts and layoffs. Undoubtedly, HR is being stretched thin while being asked to lead in this crisis[2]. Utilizing AI, becoming more digital, and providing better access to development (democratizing leadership development) are all needed, often with a more dispersed workforce.

3. The Focus on Leadership Talent Matters More Than Ever

Within the global pandemic, organizations and employees are counting on authentic, empathetic, and highly competent leaders. Through these extremely difficult times, organizations need to keep developing leaders, create a positive culture, and help leaders understand their strengths and opportunities. Organizations must adapt, become faster, and become more agile. A July 2020 McKinsey study found that focusing on leadership development can significantly help organizations achieve this[3].

But is this focus on leadership development working? Even in calmer times, organizations struggle to deliver effective leadership development solutions. Only 19% of organizations say they are “very effective” at developing leaders, and 84% of organizations anticipate a leadership shortfall in the next 5 years[4].

4. The Ripple Effect: Leader Experience (LX) Impact on Employee Experience (EX)

Poor management is estimated to cost the US between $960 Billion and $1.2 Trillion per year in productivity lost due to disengagement[5]. Positive EX has a huge impact on organizations. In fact, MIT’s Center for Information System’s Research found that organizations in the top quartile for EX had double the customer satisfaction levels (industry adjusted NPS), twice the level of innovation (percentage of revenues from new products and services), and 25% greater profitability compared to competitors[6]. Importantly, the manager has been found to have the largest impact on EX.

5. Leadership Development is Expensive, and CEO Confidence is Lacking

Leadership Development is often very expensive and not trusted by executives. In fact, $370 Billion is spent on leadership development globally[7], with CEOs considering 90 cents of every dollar wasted[8]. Clearly, there’s room for improvement.

6. Traditional Leadership Development Methods are at Least Limited, if not Broken

Current methods of leadership development, while well-intentioned, are often fundamentally flawed. In many programs, leaders “go away” to “learn” leadership topics. Whether it is going offsite to a leadership class or program, or eLearning programs, learning often lacks context to the leader’s actual work (i.e., the “real world”). Numerous studies have shown that retention of learning from these traditional leadership delivery methods doesn’t stick, and participants often have a forgetting curve of, on average, 90% after 1 week[9].

Clearly, effective leadership development needs a new delivery method that lets the leader grow in the flow of work. Ideally, learning occurs in the moment, is accomplished through doing and from others, and is personalized to the leader's situation. Research on experiential learning shows an exponentially higher level of retention (75% or higher retention of learning)[10].

7. Leadership Development is Underserving Critical Talent

In many organizations, leadership development is often offered only to a select few. While we understand this strategy, we believe that everyone can benefit by developing leadership behaviors and that democratizing leadership development can provide advantages for organizations.

Millennials make up half of the workforce today[11]. Engaging with this group is critical. Companies where managers show sincere interest in Millennials see an 8X improvement in agility and a 7X increase in innovation[12]. One way to engage with them is through leadership development, as 87 % of Millennials rate career growth and development opportunities as important. Unfortunately, 45% report they do not have the skills needed for future success[13], reflecting an underserved critical talent pool.

8. Time in Meetings is Massive, Inefficient, and Increasing with COVID 19

Roughly 55 million work meetings a day occur in the US alone. This time is incredibly expensive, with $1.4 Trillion spent on meetings a year in the US[14]. Ideally, this time and dollars would be considered well spent. Unfortunately, 69% of employees report that most of their meetings are unproductive. Furthermore, 50% of employees report they’d rather do any other work activity than attend their weekly team update meeting[15]. Why are these massive meetings numbers relevant? Meetings are where leaders have the most opportunity to “show up” and demonstrate strong leadership.

Additionally, COVID 19 is only increasing this focus on meetings. This idea is reflected in the sheer number of meetings happening in Microsoft Teams each day. Exponential growth is happening with a new daily record (on March 31) of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200 percent increase from 900 million on March 16[16 & 17].

Why qChange?

This tool could assist the Human Resource profession in creating better workplaces by improving people management skills, specifically related to leadership development, which has the potential impact on both overall morale, as well as individual achievement.

Brad Gebert – Managing Director of SHRM Paragon Labs

Our mission at qChange is to deliver a new Leader Experience for everyone. By growing leader behaviors in individual contributors, managers, and leaders, we positively impact organizational culture, Employee Experience (EX), and organizational performance (Consumer, Brand, and Product Experience).

We envision those with leader skills similar to a rock tossed into a body of water; they create a ripple effect that impacts the whole organization. LX places those building leader skills at the center and focuses on their journey in the organization.

qChange improves leadership development and Employee Experience efforts by providing learners with:

· Behavioral prompts (nudges), in context, in the flow of work, using Neuro-Linguistic Programming science

· Real-time assessment, measurement, and feedback of performance from your Influencers

· Continual development suggestions and qInsights

· All driven by A.I. and Machine Learning analytics

· Customized to your organizational leadership model, culture, values, and organizational initiatives

This creates cycles of leadership learning that the leader has control of, builds a culture of feedback in the organization, and allows leaders to be prompted on the most relevant organizational issues (for example, Employee Experience Drivers, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion issues, and/or Leadership Development Gaps).

This allows for more continuous, more agile, and more democratic leadership development. By utilizing our proprietary Leader Score, and focusing on more continuous feedback and development, we provide the HR function with continual performance management, leader assessment, and more objective data for talent management discussions and decisions.

Our own research has found that leaders embrace this. Ninety-four percent want more real-time feedback, and 88% want this in 360-degree form. Ninety-five percent would use technology to provide and receive feedback and 80% believe it would increase engagement. Early users of qChange have backed this up providing us positive feedback about receiving feedback, giving feedback, and the developmental insights received.

Finally, we do this for far less organizational spend. The average dollars spent on leadership development is estimated to be close to $4000 per leader16. Our solution can both maximize that investment or replace some of it for 1/10th of the cost.

John Howes, Ph.D.

Chief Leader Experience Officer



[1]EY, Future of Work, May 2020; Accenture, CHRO Resilience, April, 2020; [2] Bersin, The Big Reset, March, 2020; [3] McKinsey, March, 2020; [4] Velasquez, Leadership Statistics, May, 2017; [5] Gallup, March, 2019; [6] CISR MiT Sloan research briefing, June 2017; [7] Training Industry, April 2020; [8] McKinsey, April, 2017; [9] Ebbinghaus forgetting curve; [10] NTL Learning Pyramid. [11],[12] Best Workplaces for Millennials Study, 2018; [13] Gallup, 2016; [14] Deloitte, June 2020; [15] Rogelberg, Science of Meetings, 2019; [16] Microsoft Remote Work Trends Report, April 2020; [17] Chief Learning Officer, March 2018