Friday, August 29, 2008

DDI's Gloomy Global Leadership Development Forecast

Last week, a recent McKinsey survey told us HR can't manage talent.

More bad news from DDI:

Forecast Reveals Stormy Weather for Global Leadership Development Efforts
by Rich Wellins, Sr. VP, DDI

Every other year, DDI conducts the Global Leadership Forecast to measure the impact of leadership development programs around the world. More than 13,700 leaders and HR professionals from 76 countries participated this year, making it the most comprehensive study on organizational leadership practices in the world.

This fifth edition of the Global Leadership Forecast is not the report that DDI's chief scientist Ann Howard and I wanted to bring you. The 20052006 Forecast brought high hopes that organizations would finally get leadership development right. We expected to report improvement in this latest survey; instead, we mostly found intensified dissatisfaction.

Since 1999, when the Global Leadership Forecast first measured organizations' perceptions of their leaders, HR confidence in leaders has declined steadily, with only 35 percent citing high confidence in the most recent survey. This deterioration of confidence is a sign that leaders aren't meeting the needs of the organization, and business leaders need to take note of this if they want to grow their organizations.

Some of the major findings of the report are:
- Leaders are dissatisfied with their development. Two out of five leaders don't feel they're getting the development they need, which is a key obstacle to leadership confidence. Great leadership doesn't happen by accident-organizations need to start listening to their leaders and make the right development investments.

- CEOs aren't sending the right messages to leaders. Innovation and global acumen represent two large gaps in leaders' and CEOs' priorities, according to research from the Global Leadership Forecast.

- US lags behind most of the world in succession planning. Globally, only half of organizations have succession plans for their leadership team, and US organizations were lower than the global sample-a scary reality, considering the high rate of retirements we're expecting over the next 5-10 years.

- Leaders who cross borders are unprepared. As organizations expand their global footprint, 20 percent of all leaders have some multinational responsibilities. But, three in five of these multinational leaders consider their development for this role only fair or poor.

- It's not all gloom and doom, though. The report also contains a number of solutions to these problems. I invite you to download and read the report, and hope that you find the findings and recommendations helpful. While the forecast may be rainy today, I'm confident that blue skies are in our future.

Dan's comments:

I agree, it's not all gloom and doom. The good news is that Seventy-five (75) percent of executives identified improving or leveraging leadership talent as a top business priority. That's been consistent with my experience and other reports.

We can fix this! There are plenty of best practices we can learn from. The solutions are right in front of our noses. HR, again, THIS IS YOUR TICKET TO THE TABLE. Managers, if you want to be a LEADER, then you need to embrace the notion that developing employees is your primary mission, and stop making excuses. Start doing something TODAY.

The key is for leaders and HR to step up to the plate and BOTH take responsibility to address this challenge. This line from the DDI report says it all:

"In the Global Leadership Forecast, HR professionals and leaders appeared to hold the other primarily responsible for the failure of leadership development programs. HR professionals
pointed to management’s lack of accountability and commitment, while leaders showed limited confidence in HR. Unless HR and top management can make their partnership work, they will never see their dream of developing excellent leaders become a reality".

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