This is the strange question posed by Deloitte in their latest Global Human Capital Trends report 2015, which they say identifies a “staggering capability gap” in leadership and succession in businesses right across the globe. 86% of HR and Global business leaders identified leadership as their number one issue, with only 6% of organisations suggesting that their leadership pipeline was ‘very ready’.
These statistics are stunning and worrying… but they also present a great opportunity to begin to unlock the potential of people and businesses all around the world.
When we think about management and leadership training it’s not hard to see where things go wrong, as it’s usually focused on an elite few at the top of the business, ignoring the many managers who deliver for the business day in, day out who may aspire to become more senior. And it overlooks the importance of building a pipeline of talented leaders throughout the business. Also, investment in leadership and management development is often inconsistent; one-off programme for a few days; a luxury purchased when the business can afford it, so it’s not surprising that these skills are in such short supply.
The answers seem to be clear:
- Make sure everyone understands the business case for developing leadership and management skills across the business
- Know what good leadership looks like in your business
- Consistently develop managers and leaders at all levels
- Create succession plans and a leadership pipeline to future-proof your business
Having these things in place will directly impact the business performance; these managers are the people who make decisions, talk to customers, engage employees and make the business what it is. Research shows “high-performing companies spend 1.5 to 2 times more on leadership than other companies, and reap results that are triple or quadruple the levels of their competitors” (O’leonard and Krider 2014, in Deloitte 2015). Just think of the enormous latent potential out there that can be realized if we resolve the leadership issue!
Download the full report at: http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/articles/introduction-human-capital-trends.html
Photo credit: ‘Flock of ducks flying overhead’ by Don BeBold