We live in an era of smartphones and super smart technology. This is also an era of virtual organizations and webinars. With electronic connectivity becoming the buzz of organizational routine operations, management and leadership development have touched a point where networking rules. In such a set-up, it therefore becomes pivotal to ramp up a social setting that can handle the development needs of leaders. CareerBuilder India researches and writes about the four reasons why virtual leadership programs are a huge success at present.

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1. You Can Have them All at One Place: Imagine this – you have five leaders in your organization and you don’t even have one to seek guidance from given the busy schedule that they face daily. Now imagine this – as you commute to office and as the leaders get ready for an important meeting, you can all switch on your smart devices, and start a conference. You don’t need to meet all the leaders separately to discuss the same matter. You have them all at one place, at the same time.
2. You Can Negotiate the Time and Place: There is no bondage of time and place when you make effective use of virtual leadership development. Arrange a GooglePlus hangout at a certain time, and no matter where on the globe you are located, you can reach in time for the development program. With the help of technology-based tools and social media platforms, delivering same programs to a geographically dispersed group of leaders has become cost-effective.

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3. You Can Balance: A virtual organizational set is a personification of a new HR model that works on the objective of work-life balance. Leadership development is an essential part of this model and is done both virtually (handouts, webinars, conferences etc.) as well as virally (Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

4. You Can Save Valuable Advice: Thanks to virtual training platforms, learning no longer remains a one-time process. As per an article published in an HR Journal “PersonalToday”, Since virtual learning can be absorbed into the work day, busy leaders are more likely to take advantage of development opportunities. The time commitment for each session is shorter and spread over a longer period. Recording and archiving sessions and allowing participants to access materials online offer even more flexibility for learners, who may post a question to their cohorts while waiting for a meeting to start or read a case for discussion while riding the train.”

Implications of Leadership Development in a Virtual Space

It is a fact that today most of the working population is computer literate. However, the scope of leadership development in certain organizations is limited. For example, in government agencies and public offices, where the use of technology is not extensive, virtual leadership development cannot grow beyond a certain level. On the other hand, in organizations that encourage a free working environment, work from home options and telecommuting, leadership development through virtual space is not just a norm but a way of life.

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Image Courtesy: mashable.com

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