The development and action guides for new people leaders are part of a range of development options available to agencies and their new people leaders. In this information sheet, find out how to work through the development and action guides to help support your transition into being a new people leader.

Why development and action guides?

We recognise that, in today’s world, learning needs to accommodate individual and agency needs, flexible-working approaches, different-sized organisations and different-sized budgets. The development and action guides provide you with easy-to-access self-paced learning, where you can prioritise topics depending on your development needs.

The guides let you start your learning as soon as you begin in your new role. This means that you don’t have to wait for your agency’s next scheduled ‘new manager programme’, which could be several months away or already full, meaning you’d need to wait for even longer for a subsequent programme. By that stage, you could have missed out on the critical development you need early in your transition.

The guides incorporate a ‘flipped-classroom’ approach, which offers:

  • learner-centred, blended learning with real-work examples to create meaningful learning opportunities
  • self-paced learning gained through reading and watching videos
  • opportunities to discuss the knowledge learned and practise concepts in a workshop – a ‘safe-to-fail’ environment
  • ways for individuals to put the learning into practice with more confidence, after having problem-solved challenges and practised activities in a safe place.

What are the options for using development and action guides in my agency?

Option 1: Use development and action guides only

Self-paced learning for new people leaders to work through seven development priorities: Mindset, Connect, Purpose, Achieve, Feedback, Develop, Processes

Your first option is to use the guides only. Your agency will provide the guides, or you can download then from the Leadership Development Centre (LDC) website: www.ldc.govt.nz. You work through them on your own, at your own pace, with your manager’s support. Alternatively, you might choose to meet up with other new people leaders and learn together.

The seven guides make up the complete learning package for the transition to new people leader.

Option 2: Facilitator guides for Workouts

Six three-hour facilitated sessions, where leaders can practise skills and use the learning they’ve gained through the development and action guides

As well as using the guides, your agency may provide ‘Workouts’ for you to participate in. The Workouts are three-hour facilitator-led sessions for a cohort of learners in your agency. Each Workout covers two development and action guide topics. The essential learning gained through the guides is complemented in the Workouts.

The Workouts give you the opportunity to be part of a group, where you can share learning and discuss the challenges you encounter as new people leaders.

Option 3: New people leader development programme

An agency-run programme for a cohort of its new people leaders, for 12–16 participants

An agency can choose to run the whole programme in-house. The programme includes:

  • My Development Tracker assessment
  • seven development and action guides
  • six Workouts compiled into three one-day sessions
  • facilitated kick-off and recall sessions
  • a peer learning option.

The development and action guides are a key part of the programme learning. Through participating in the whole programme, you get to join a cohort of other new people leaders to develop and learn with. You get the opportunity to be involved in buddy learning or peer learning groups, small-group conversations, or group projects.

What is the learning model?

The development and action guides were developed using an adapted version of Kolb's Learning Cycle.

Each guide asks you as the learner to:

  • reflect on your past actions, experiences, and current situation
  • learn through reading, watching, and listening to others’:
    • ideas and inspirations – to get you thinking
    • reflection questions – to help you gain clarity, purpose, and meaning
    • practical ideas and suggestions – to help you take the right actions
  • decide where you need to develop and how you need to think, act, and behave differently, then create a plan to apply this thinking to
  • act on your plan
  • reflect on how it went.

 Learning model

How many development and action guides are there?

Seven. Each guide is based on one of the key development priorities for new people leaders:

7 development priorities for new people leaders

How long will a development and action guide take to complete?

You should allow between three and five hours to complete the essential parts of each development and action guide. This includes reading articles, watching videos, and completing planning and reflection tasks.

Some of the tasks are likely to be a part of your day-to-day activities, which you can incorporate into your work without allocating extra time to complete them.

You’ll be expected to have conversations with your direct-reports, so the total time needed to complete those conversations will depend on how many direct-reports you have. You should also allow time to think carefully about your approach before these conversations and write down reflections afterwards to share with your manager and at the Workouts, if you attend them.

The suggested deeper-dive readings and videos are optional, so allow extra time for these.

TIP: To help with your learning and planning your time, we recommend that you read each guide from start to finish before you begin working through it. You can then schedule the required learning activities, engagement, or meetings.

Do I need to complete all the tasks in the guide?

It’s important that you complete all the activities and answer all the questions. If you simply skim over the work and move on, you’re not likely to achieve the depth of learning required.

Where you have already been involved in an activity that is included in a development and action guide, you’ll be able to reflect on your previous experience without having to undertake the activity again.

If you have completed the new people leader assessment, My Development Tracker, and for example, scored highly on Feedback, you could skip the Feedback development and action guide, or complete it last.  

The suggested deeper-dive readings and videos are optional.

Do I need to do all the tasks before I attend a Workout?

The Workouts are based on the development and action guide topics. During a Workout, you’ll be asked to share your thoughts about the videos, articles, and activities. To contribute effectively at a Workout, you’ll need to have completed all the activities in the respective guides.

But, as we all know, ‘life happens’ and you mightn’t have the available time you had hoped for to work through everything in a guide. To help, we’ve highlighted the resources that are essential to a Workout, so you can prioritise those.

In some guides, there are places you can ‘pause’, before a Workout. For example, after you draft your personal vision statement, you can pause, then test it with your Workout cohort before you share it with your team. 

I’m not a big writer; can I just think about the activities rather than do them?

Some people scan or skip through workbooks or programme pre-work and rely on only getting a gist of the learning. While that approach might work sometimes, the development and action guides are different. They need to be completed as comprehensively as you can. If you simply skim them or only get the basics of what is being covered in them, you’ll also skim the learning and not give yourself the best opportunity for development.  

Do I work through the seven guides in a specific order?

If you are participating in the whole new people leader development programme run by your agency, you need to complete all the guides in a specific order: Mindset, Connect, Purpose, Achieve, Feedback, Develop, Processes.

If you are working through the guides independently, you should start with the Mindset development and action guide. After that, choose the guides in order of where you need the most development.

We recommend that you complete the assessment for new people leaders, My Development Tracker first. The assessment will help you discover and reflect on the skills and behaviours you should focus on to develop your leadership capability.

What resources will I need to complete the guides?

  •  A quiet space and/or a set of headphones where you can watch/listen to the videos undisturbed.
  • Time scheduled to complete activities and have workplace conversations.
  • Someone to discuss your learning with, such as your manager, a mentor, a buddy, and/or an HR adviser.
  • A login for the LDC website. Some of the resources in the guides link to information on LDC website that is available to LDC members only. You can sign up for a login using your agency email address at: ldc.govt.nz/membership/sign-up/. If you need assistance, please email info@ldc.govt.nz.

Who will support me?

Your team: Leadership success is about your impact on and reputation with those you lead. Ask your team for their input and feedback on how you are getting on. When it comes to learning and trying new things out, let your team know about your learning and development and listen to their feedback.

Your manager: When it comes to developing yourself and working on ‘stretch’ areas, your manager will offer important support. They know what success looks like in your role and can help you to develop.

Your HR agency lead: This person can help you with agency-specific development plans, finding development opportunities for when you have completed the development and action guides, and general HR policies.

If you are participating in the new people leader programme, your HR agency lead will help you set up buddy learning or a peer learning group.

Workout facilitator: If you participate in Workouts, your facilitator will support your learning. They will help you solve any challenges you are experiencing and provide feedback on the areas you practised in a Workout.

Leadership Development Centre: An LDC adviser can help you with any questions you have about further development options.

LDC is also happy to receive feedback or queries about the development and action guides and assist with LDC website logins. Please contact LDC at info@ldc.govt.nz.

How do I find out more?

If you have further questions about new people leader development, please contact your agency HR lead.