Biennial Survey of Leading Corporations Reveals Most Important Leadership Capability

Leaders from some of the world’s best known large and medium-sized organizations across the globe participated in the biennial survey, which has been conducted by EDA every two years to four years since !"#$ %klahoma &ity, %', (anuary )), )* + - For today’s executives, the ability to develop a successful business strategy is no longer enough. In our complex business environment, the most successful organizations will be the ones with leaders who can create a compelling vision—and who can convey that vision to customers and employees. These s ills have, for the first time in recent years, surpassed critical thin ing in importance, but there is a problem, says !onnie "agemann, #$% of Executive Development Associates. This new reality was reflected in the ey findings of &'()* Trends in $xecutive +evelopment, !enchmar .eport./ - wide range of executives and human resource leaders, including presidents, senior vice presidents, chief learning officers, and heads of executive and leadership development, reported that the ability to create a vision— and convey it to others—is now the single most important capability needed in the emerging generation of leaders. The &'()* Trends in Executive Development, - !enchmar .eport/ is the product of collaboration between 0earson Talent1ens and $xecutive +evelopment -ssociates Inc. 2$+-3, a global leadership consulting firm that specializes in executive assessment, development, and coaching. 1eaders from some of the world’s best nown large and medium4sized organizations across the globe participated in the biennial survey, which has been conducted by $+- every two years to four years since )567 in order to follow the trends, growth and evolution of executive development in corporate environments. The complete report can be purchased at http, &The ". leaders in the study reported that the ability to create a vision is the one most lac ing in the next generation of leadership talent, followed by the lac of critical4thin ing s ills. #learly, they are worried about the ability of the new generation to step up into top positions,/ says "agemann. 9he notes that once leaders create a vision and have used their critical4thin ing s ills to develop the appropriate business strategy, they must bring others into the program. &This re:uires the ability to convey the vision to others—to get employees and customers ;ust as excited about the new direction and opportunities. -nd it re:uires the ability to engage employees at all levels in the underlying business strategy. <ision without strategy will not get far. -nd neither will move forward without engagement,/ says "agemann.

The report indicates that there are several reasons why creating a vision and conveying it to others has surpassed critical thin ing as the capability most critical to success and yet most lac ing in the next generation of leadership talent. &+uring the recession, companies needed to focus on cutting costs and increasing revenue in an increasingly competitive global business environment. -s the economy improves, companies are focusing less on cutting costs and more on expanding production and opening new mar ets, products and services, all of which re:uire an inspired and engaged wor force,/ says "agemann. -nd there may be another disconnect, according to the report. =hile the ". leaders in the study said their top priority in the next two to three years is developing capabilities needed to achieve vision and execute strategy, they still tend to focus developmental efforts in other areas. &The two developmental activities their next generation of leaders are most li ely to participate in, they said, are developmental ;ob assignments and action learning. "owever, those types of activities alone are rarely enough to give emerging leaders the ability to create and carry out a larger vision,/ says "agemann. =hile these types of development paths can be very valuable, they do not focus specifically on teaching leaders how to create a vision and engage others around it. +eveloping such capabilities re:uires a thoughtful, purposeful approach—one that sets out agreed4upon goals and strategies. 9everal techni:ues have proved to be effective, particularly when used in combination. -mong them, #oaching and >entoring. $very organization has current and retired leaders who over the course of their careers have articulated a strong vision—and seem to have an exceptional ability to convey it to others. 9uch leaders should be recruited to be coaches and mentors to both the current and the upcoming generation of leaders who need to develop in this area. Training. $xecutive training programs should be expanded to specifically include inspiring and engaging others. These capabilities can be built into business scenarios and simulations. -nother proven approach is storytelling, followed by practice. Tapping the <ision of ?en @. #reating a vision means loo ing ahead to the ideas that will capture the imagination of new generations of employees and customers. #ompanies already have a powerful and available thought partner in their ?eneration @ employees. These wor ers can provide valuable insight into the ind of products they and their peers would li e to buy as well as the inds of organizations they want to wor for. #hanging the #ulture. The importance of developing vision and engaging others around it must be made part of the corporate culture. -s in past Trend .eports, the lac of bench strength continues to be the single most influential factor on executive development. =ith the end of the recession, many baby boomers who delayed retirement are now leaving, fulfilling long4standing predictions of an alarmingly limited flow in the executive pipeline. >any current executives ac nowledge they have not yet prepared their successors, often because it is difficult to find candidates with expertise in the necessary specialties. In addition to "agemann, the report authors include Aohn >attone, 9enior Talent >anagement #onsultant and >aster $xecutive #oach with $xecutive +evelopment -ssociates, and Aohn >a eta, +irector of 9trategic 0artnerships for 0earson . About EDA

Executive Development Associates is a leader in creating custom4designed executive development strategies, systems and programs that help organizations build the capabilities needed to achieve their strategic ob;ectives. $+- leads the way in the use of executive development to help organizations successfully address their mar etplace challenges and accelerate the execution of their business strategy. =ith their proven ability to achieve results, they create measurable improvements in both individual executive performance and business outcomes. For more information about executive, leadership and high4potential development, visit http, About Pearson TalentLens 0earson Talent1ens publishes scientific assessments that are used globally to hire and develop the ')st century wor force. %ur instruments measure critical thin ing, problem solving, and a range of ;ob s ills to deliver data4driven insights that inform and clarify an organization’s human capital decisions. 1earn more at 0ress interviews or copy of the report, contact !onnie "agemann B #$%, $xecutive +evelopment -ssociates, +irect, C) 6)D 67( D(()E Toll Free, C) 6DD $F$# +$<, ext. '()E or Contact: !onnie "agemann89teven Infanti $xecutive +evelopment -ssociates * H$ )(th 9treet, I)J) % lahoma #ity, %K J7)(* 6)D 67( D(() smicommunicationsGearthlin .net http, III