Leadership Development

Many efforts to develop leaders fail to deliver results. Yet the need for transformational leadership at all levels has never been more critical.

Companies around the world spend billions each year on leadership training—workshops, webinars, certificates, and the like—and much of that money is wasted. That’s because most leadership development training happens in a vacuum. Employees attend a one-off session, return to their desks, and quickly forget what they learned.

The strategic implications of this missed opportunity can be significant. Given the massive shift to virtual work environments and hybrid models that combine remote and onsite work, we at BCG believe that transformational leadership—the kind that fosters a culture of empowerment and inclusion, engages employees, and builds high-performing, agile teams—is more important than ever.

A Leadership Strategy for Putting Leaders to Work

To develop the next generation of leaders, BCG uses a “design for adoption” methodology, grounded in cutting-edge behavioral science. This leadership strategy helps people build new capabilities every single day and adapt their behaviors within the context of daily routines.

Debbie Lovich on How Leaders Can Boost Their Ability to Adopt New Ways of Working

The best leaders focus on mastering new behaviors required to drive change in their organization.


BCG’s Approach to Leadership Development

BCG’s leadership development consulting shines a light on what makes certain leaders excel while others languish—and then incorporates those best practices into the flow of daily work to foster inclusive leadership. Our approach to leadership development is both highly operational and tightly linked to value creation:

  • We start by pinpointing the two or three capabilities leaders need in order to fundamentally change the performance trajectory of the organization.
  • Next, we leverage real-world tools and solutions that can be incorporated into leaders’ daily and weekly routines. It’s not leadership development training; it’s targeted executive coaching that changes how people show up and lead every day at work.
  • Finally, we shape the context in which leaders operate—such as navigating the org chart, establishing effective governance, and rethinking which metrics are tracked and rewarded—to ensure that the organizational culture and leadership development agenda are mutually reinforcing.

In this way, leaders learn how to become great within the context of their daily work—using a growth-oriented, purpose-driven, and sustainable approach that pays dividends over their entire career.

Architecting the Future of Work

The pandemic has shown companies that their employees can be just as productive working without the former constraints of time and location. Business leaders have the opportunity and imperative to intentionally design the future of work to unleash a new wave of productivity.

Explore BCG's expertise on the Future of Work

BCG’s Leadership Development Toolkit

Leadership development matters so much because the actions and attitudes of leaders drive performance in several ways: improving employee engagement, enhancing productivity, and cultivating an innovative and inclusive business culture. BCG’s leadership development consulting deploys a full spectrum of solutions to help companies shape the leaders they need and drive business growth.

Meet BCG’s Leadership Development Consulting Experts

Here are a few of the BCG consultants who bring their expertise in inclusive leadership and leadership team development to bear at our clients.


Agile for Leaders

For agile to succeed, leaders need to get out of their comfort zone. They need to embrace, reinforce, and—crucially—practice new behaviors.

Featured Client Work in Leadership Development

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A global resources company gained competitive advantage by investing in its 6,000 frontline leaders

By implementing a capability-building program, a global services company transformed the culture for 6,000 frontline leaders across 60 locations, improving overall business performance.

An image of a dark office

A North American retailer undertook a multipronged transformation, upskilling all levels of in-store leadership

To remain competitive, a retailer needed to revamp its stores to become more customer centric and improve employee morale. BCG helped empower the in-store leaders who were closest to consumers through a transformation effort that refined roles, strengthened communication channels, and used peer coaching and immersion learning to build capabilities. As a result of the engagement, the retailer saw employee engagement levels more than double, customer feedback reach its highest levels ever, and market share rise more than 200 basis points in a year.

BCG’s Featured Insights in Leadership Development

How do we develop Generative Leaders?

Jim Hemerling lays out three points to consider in developing generative leaders within your organization.

Watch the Full Video

More Than Ever, Diversity and Inclusion Matter at Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly’s Dave Ricks is passionate about diversity and inclusion at a crucial time.

The Keys to Developing Effective Leaders

Companies around the world spend more than $40 billion a year on leadership and talent development initiatives, but fall short in terms of returns on investment. BCG’s Debbie Lovich explains why this happens and how to address and overcome these challenges.

Commit to Leadership from the Top through the Middle

To create the necessary excitement and engagement for a successful digital transformation, you need to get visible commitment from the CEO and executive team, and secure the buy-in of middle managers by empowering them.

Leadership by Design: Navigate the complexities of today’s leadership and management environment.