leaders talking to a team in strong organisational leadership

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Are today’s leaders actually ready to lead?

January 4, 2019

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Despite competitive pressure to innovate and the billions spent on leadership development every year, the capability of leaders in organisations is not improving, according to a recent study. The Global Leadership Forecast shows quality leadership has remained stalled since the analysis began almost 20 years ago.

Conducted by the human resources consulting firm DDI, the report shows that there has been little progress in overall organisational leadership for six years running. Figures show that just 42% of the 25,000 leaders surveyed said the quality of their organisation’s leadership is high, an increase of just four percentage points compared to 2011.

Those numbers are still higher than the perception of HR. Less than a third of professionals rated the quality of leadership as high. When HR were asked to rate the strength of the current pipeline to meet their business needs over the next three years, the results were equally discouraging, with just 14% considering their future bench to be strong.

Closing the leadership gaps
The figures vary by industry and country, but generally, companies in the top third of financial performers are twice as likely to have high-quality leaders than those in the bottom third.

Not only does poor leadership affect innovation and culture within a company, but a lack of quality leaders also means companies will struggle to fill critical positions internally, leaving costlier and higher-risk external candidates as their only option.

With an uncertain future in which disruption is occurring like never before, quality leadership is vital for companies to remain innovative and competitive.

Using predictive analytics to improve hiring and promoting decisions, developing long-term leadership strategies connected to your business plan, integrating talent systems, and measuring impact of leadership development efforts may help organisations give their leadership quality a boost once and for all.

Find courses in leadership development and other programmes in our Innovation Starters section.

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