Here is what I see as the third key reason why enrolment is difficult. It is the nature of some topic.
For some topics, its name is confusing to start with. ‘Leadership’ (or ‘Leadership Development’) is one of these. You pick any 2 people in the workplace and ask them what leadership is. They probably have very different answer. In addition, there is one understanding of the term ‘Leadership Development’ which particularly confuses the communication i.e.
Leadership Development = Any developmental intervention for those in the leadership position.
This could really mean anything, even how to ensure policy compliance in China. See my earlier post on ‘Leadership Development’.
With such a diverse understanding on what the topic it is, no wonder we would have ‘wrong’ participants in workshops / interventions.
Jumping ahead a bit into the ‘So What’, perhaps we should do away the term ‘Leadership’ and ‘Leadership Development’ in describing intervention. Specifically, we should avoid workshop names like ‘The Essence of Leadership’, ‘Advanced Leadership Skills’. Instead, we can consider to be more specific in naming them and use terms like ‘Transition’, ‘Influencing’, ‘Feedback’, ‘Visioning’. If we are mindful to keep the name short, we can add a 4-5 words 1 liner to describe.
(Yes, most organisations have course factsheets already in place. But in my experience, people tend to judge by names rather than the content of the factsheets)