A recent study from Bersin & Associates titled High Impact Leadership in the 21st Century, identifies 7 critical trends that drive leadership development and shows organizations how to prepare to address these trends to remain competitive. What are these 7 leadership development trends?
- Organizations must prioritize investments in leadership development. The study shows lack of leadership development leaves companies open to risk factors. To mitigate these risks, leadership development is essential to motivate, engage, and develop talent.
- Organizations must create and implement both a leadership strategy and a leadership development strategy. Effective leadership requires the development of strategies, not just the implementation of programs. Without strong leaders, the best of strategies will fail. A good leadership strategy outlines the company’s leadership requirements, including the number of leaders, and identifies the levels leaders should operate, as well as define the skills, behaviors and capabilities required.
- Leadership Competencies must be renewed. Traditional leadership competencies are important although they are evolving. For example, in today’s business world, leadership requires innovative thinkers, agility and flexibility, global competitiveness, people management skills, and diversity.
- Leadership Globalization. Since companies are expanding internationally, they must also move from hierarchical, top-down leadership models to inclusive, participatory global leadership styles. In essence, global forces require a global perspective, which means embracing diversity and cultural differences.
- Being technologically-savvy. Technology facilitates communication with leaders and employees regardless of the location.
- Leadership development targets all leadership audiences. Research validates that leadership development best-practice should targets leaders at all levels. Best practice companies are committing to developing their emerging leaders, front-line and midlevel leaders, as well as executive and senior leaders.
- Leadership development solutions should evolve as a process, not a one-time event. The goal of leadership development involves action, not just knowledge. Leaders must learn from ongoing learning opportunities from their work, rather than taking them away from their work to simply gain knowledge. Leadership learning experiences must apply to real organizational issues, taking place within small collaborative units.