ICF International is committed to being a thought leader in the field of human capital. We achieve this through research, publishing, and practice. One recent example is the study titled, The Impact of Leadership Development. This study has answered fundamental questions related to the proper techniques for linking leadership development programs to organizational success measures. ICF also commits significant resources toward developing articles, white papers, and courses the explore the most pressing issues in the human capital field.
ICF has a forty-year history in providing expert consulting services in the fields of leadership, workforce development, training and development, instructional systems design, strategic planning, performance improvement, and competency management. To discover more about our research, publications, and capabilities, review the links provided at the bottom of this page. We work in the federal, for-profit, nonprofit, and military spaces and have partnered with a variety of associations such as Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Employee Relocation Council (ERC), and the American Society of Training & Development (ASTD).
ICF has a long history of partnering with ASTD. Several of our human capital experts are former ASTD employees, including the former director of ASTD marketing and the former manager of competency research. ICF sponsored and led the Impact of Leadership Development study for many reasons. Certainly we hope to raise ICF's profile in the profession by being recognized as thought leaders in this field, but we also believe strongly in helping to advance the "state-of-the-art" within the profession. Although the learning and development profession has come a long way in 50 years, it still has a long way to go in order to be completely relevant and valued by organizational leaders. This is why the newest study on leadership development impact is so important to us, ASTD, and the field at large. Few people would deny that leadership development programs are beneficial to all types of people and organizations. However, believing that these programs are beneficial is quite different than being able to quantify the benefits.
As practitioners we all have the responsibility to step back periodically and question how well our programs are working, how we can make them better, and how we can help clients feel confident in their investments. To us at ICF International, a study is far more than just an interesting academic exercise, or even an opportunity to promote ourselves. It is a rare opportunity to reflect on the most fundamental questions about our life’s work such as: Does it matter? Does anyone really notice? Should we continue? How can we improve?
For those of us who have been in the learning and development profession for many years, whether it is in the capacity of trainer, facilitator, coach, or consultant, we have had “front row seats” from which to observe people and organizations living, learning, and growing. We believe ICF's investment in research and publishing is a small repayment for the years of learning and growth we have received from our clients and our mentors in the field. Our hope is that we can help practitioners pause and appreciate the degree to which their work touches countless lives. Each leader that we teach has the potential of touching dozens of employees who work for him or her. Each employee in turn has the potential of doing the same for his or her employees, families, and communities. This type of impact will never be measurable; nor should it be.