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Cath Everett

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Leadership forecast gloomy – development needed


Employers must employ a mix of development techniques if they are to improve leadership quality levels that have changed little over the last six years despite an estimated £14 billion in annual investment worldwide.

According to a survey among 12,000 leaders and 1,800 HR professionals working in 2,600 organisations across 74 countries undertaken by talent management company DDI, only 38% of managers (36% in the UK) rated their organisation’s leadership quality as high, with the figure falling to 25% among HR personnel.
A huge three out of five leaders felt the development they received was ineffective, while a mere 18% of HR professionals (20% in the UK) believed that their employer currently had the leadership skills in place to meet future business challenges.
Steve Newhall, DDI UK’s managing director, said: “Research from our last two Global Leadership Forecasts shows that leadership quality hasn’t changed much over the last six years despite the estimated £14 billion spent globally each year on leadership development. If organisations are going to have in place the leadership they need, how they find, develop and promote new leaders is going to have to change.”
Leaders themselves, meanwhile, identified two new skills that they needed to develop on top of traditional ones such as driving and managing change, coaching and developing others and executing on organisational strategy.
These new skills comprised identifying and developing future talent and fostering creativity and innovation. But only about half of the leaders questioned believed they were effective in any of the skills cited.
The study entitled ‘DDI’s 6th Global Leadership Forecast’ revealed that leadership development worked best when a mix of techniques were used, however. Organisations with the most effective programmes used 32% more types of schemes than peers, with 73% rating formal classroom training most highly (81% in the UK) followed by special projects and assignments (66%).


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