Although effective management will be crucial to exploiting growth opportunities presented by the changing face of globalisation, just over two thirds of global employers admit to being poor at leadership development.
A survey undertaken among 700 chief HR officers and senior executives in 61 countries around the world by IBM’s Institute for Business Value revealed that it was no longer just Western companies that were moving into developing markets to take advantage of cheap labour.
Instead the movement was starting to become increasingly two-way. Some 45% of Indian firms and 33% of Chinese ones said that they planned to take on staff in North America, while 44% and 14% respectively expected to expand into Western Europe.
Denis Brousseau, vice president for organisation and people at IBM Global Business Services, said: “The silver lining of globalisation is that the shift towards expansion will require companies to redirect their workforce to locations that provide the greatest opportunities, not just the lowest costs and at the same time re-imagine their management strategies to reflect an increasingly dynamic workforce.”
More than ever before, competitive success would depend on managers that could effectively “assimilate information and share insights among a diverse group of employees around the globe”, he added.
Despite the recession, these changing dynamics had led 33% of respondents in mature markets and 43% in developing markets to increase their investment in leadership development, although less than one in three said that their organisation was adept at such activity.
Only just over a quarter used analytics software to help them identify historical trends within their company and predict future outcomes in order to support the development of future leaders, with the figure falling to 7% in relation to the wider workforce.
But the study entitled ‘Working Beyond Borders’ also found that the financially most successful firms were 57% more likely than less successful ones to use collaboration and social networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together.