Developing a Strong Leadership Pipeline in Your Organization

An article by a Deloitte researcher suggests that companies that employ specific approaches to developing leadership talent deliver 37% more revenue per employee and are three times more likely to be market leaders than the lower performers studied. “The most effective tools for developing leaders are: culture, network-based management, learning by exposure and a business-driven approach to HR.”ˡ

While developing the leadership talent in your organization is of tremendous importance, it is difficult to know what matters most. The most effective tools to develop new leaders from inside your organization and prepare them to be high performance leaders who drive strong financial performance are the topics of Josh Bersin’s HBR article, The 5 Elements of a Strong Leadership Pipeline.²

People are often promoted into new management roles and then struggle with the transition. In a study conducted by Deloitte this year with 7,000 organizations, “89% of executives rated strengthening the leadership pipeline as an urgent issue.” ³ A further study surveying 2,000 companies analyzed data relating to the “impact of different management practices on the business performance as a whole,”⁴ rather than examining leadership development itself.

The findings Mr. Bersin presents surfaced 5 common approaches employed in companies that have both strong leadership pipelines and strong financial performance:

  • People focus strongly on culture, in conversation and actions. Understanding it allows them to lead in different but complementary ways.
  • These businesses believe in matrix management. Leaders learn and grow in networked organizations, needing to collaborate across boundaries, build networks and grasp different parts of the business….all
  • These companies trust in learning via wider interaction with coworkers, customers, industry experts and working in a variety of settings. At GE for example, young leaders are moved throughout the organization, in staff and line roles, to gain professional exposure and leadership growth.
  • These organizations believe in an open and inclusive work environment where everyone can learn and share both problems and new ideas with equal ease.
  • While these businesses do have ‘leadership programs,’ they are woven into the organization along with HR professionals. As in one major pharma enterprise, senior HR leaders in all the business units ensure that leadership training efforts are integrated with commercially-focused business learning.

If you would like to discuss how Corporate Fuel can help you realize full value in your business through leadership talent development, please give us a shout.

¹²³⁴(To read the full article reviewed here, see: The 5 Elements of a Strong Leadership Pipeline by Josh Bersin, Deloitte, October 6, 2016 Harvard Business Review - ).

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