Executives consider which leadership development strategies will work best for today’s uncertain talent market.
Looking to the future of leadership, many executives are predicting leadership shortages, prompting the need for accelerated leadership development, more tailored development programs, and new sources of growth. In response to these needs, Deloitte recently released the latest edition of a longitudinal survey series known as “Talent Edge 2020.”
The survey series aims to address how companies are dealing with the changing demands of today’s talent market, and discusses executive strategies of large national and global organizations. The January 2012 report, Talent Edge 2020: Redrafting talent strategies for the uneven recovery, draws from two previous studies based on executive and employee attitudes and talent concerns. Here are the report’s key findings.
- In a struggling economy, organizations are looking for new sources of growth. According to those surveyed, most management attention is going to improving top- and bottom-line performance (38 percent); expanding into global and new markets (33 percent); cutting and managing costs (32 percent); and acquiring, serving, and retaining customers (32 percent).
- There is increasing pressure to create multipoint talent strategies that are both scalable and focused on regional markets. With needs varying from region to region, it can be difficult to create a scalable strategy that will address every concern.
- The same executives predicting leadership shortages are likely those found to be focusing on strengthening their leadership development programs. The highest response of any in the survey revealed today’s top talent concerns: 30 percent of the surveyed executives listed developing leaders and succession planning as their main focus, followed closely by recruiting hard-to-find skill sets (29 percent) and sustaining employee engagement and morale (25 percent).
- When asked to assess their talent management programs, a mere 17 percent of surveyed executives described them as “world-class.” More than 40 percent of executives described their talent management programs as adequate but in
need of improvement, just getting by, or underperforming.
Following the advice of bestselling author Jim Collins, if organizations are to successfully navigate the leadership development challenges they currently face, attention must be paid to talent development and management. When asked what he believed to be the most critical competency of a leadership development program, Collins says: “Our best strategy is to build great young leaders. I really deeply believe that. I think the fundamental solution to our problems lies in exceptional leadership widely distributed throughout all sectors of our society. If we do that, then we are going to navigate the problems that we have not without bumps, but very successfully.”