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Annie Hayes



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HR confident business leaders can do it


Leaders in the UK are rated most highly, with almost half of HR professionals confident in their ability, a global leadership report shows.

This is according to the 5th Global Leadership Forecast 2008/2009 by business leadership consultancy DDI, which reports that 44% of respondents rank UK leaders as very good or excellent compared to 37% globally. The UK also scores well when it comes to nurturing high potential leaders – 58% compared to 50% globally.

Yet just 41% of leaders globally are satisfied with leadership development, down 12% since the 2005/2006 forecast. Despite the findings, nearly half of organisations fail to provide any development at all for leaders moving into new roles, with 37% of succession candidates failing.

The report notes that global leaders in particular are not getting the development they need and are ill-prepared for the roles: just 29% of multinational organisations say they have processes to develop their multi-national leaders.

In further good news for UK plc, 55% of UK leaders on high potential programmes are happy with their development compared to 37% globally.

In an exclusive interview with, Simon Mitchell, director at DDI, said the UK’s HR teams should proud of the results, but added: “Although the UK fares well in many areas, such as the high quality of our leadership programmes and confidence in UK leaders, there are elements that need to be improved on. While UK leaders are receiving the skills, training and commitment to their development, the level of senior management buy-in and accountability in implementing effective development activities needs to be addressed.”

Mitchell said there was a real opportunity for HR to make significant inroads by driving this activity: “By supporting and building networks with the senior line managers, HR can help them look at ways to create effective development for leaders such as on-the-job development activities; providing coaching and mentoring support to the leaders; and understanding what the programme their people have been through looks like.”

More than 13,700 leaders and HR professionals from 76 countries took part in the research.

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Annie Hayes


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