Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Rising Demand for Emerging Leaders

The IBM Global Human Capital study surveyed over 400 companies in 40 countries across North America, Asia and Europe. The findings? A lack of focus on leadership development means companies are increasingly unable to plan for the skills needed to remain competitive.

As the baby boom leadership retires, many companies will discover a generation’s worth of experience and talent has walked out the door, and remaining emerging leaders ill-equipped to fill the void.

In the study, the transfer of experience and information from one generation to the next is still relatively isolated by department and geography. Within traditional organizations, there is also a reluctance to advertise individuals as expert talent or allow them to act as internal experts. This occurs despite the fact that organizations first recruit a person based upon their unique talents, abilities and experiences.

However, once inside the organization, many traditional leaders tend to ignore or downplay a person’s experiences – the very reasons they were hired!

Collaboration between leaders, departments and employees is critical for future organizational success. Despite the prevalence of technology that can easily enable this type of sharing, functional silos, misaligned performance measures and work constraints inhibit the practice.

Without effective collaboration, an organization’s ability to identify rising stars, track and reward service champions and chances for improving operational effectiveness are severely limited.

Our solution? Structure leadership development programs to clearly define the challenges emerging leaders are meant to solve (in partnership with customers and employees), let them work on these challenges soon after being hired, and measure that employee’s ability to perform and make decisions, all while providing significant incentives that reward the right behavior.

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