Are Your Emerging Leaders Prepared for the Challenges of a “VUCA” World?

Total talent management systemThe greatest challenges facing all organizations, whether private, public or non-profit, are the same. Unless business leaders address these challenges there is serious risk of failure, stagnation, or lack of sustainable profitable growth of their enterprise. The bottom line is chaos which can be summed up by the trendy managerial acronym, VUCA – for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. At the same time, the Millennial generation has ushered in an employee that expects more flexibility and shows less loyalty. HR and Talent Management executives must rethink the systems, policies, and procedures to assure the most effective use of capital, human, and material resources in these turbulent times.

The Need for Leadership Development

This chaotic business climate means that leadership development has become more important today than ever. In fact, investing in talent management programs and systems to help develop leaders has become the primary focus for human resources professionals. For the third year in a row, leadership development is the number one most pressing challenge facing global organizations.

However, there is a significant lack of agreement on exactly what skills are required. According to a survey by The Alternative Board, which included 336 entrepreneurs from New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, 46% of respondents think that accomplishing goals is the most important and 38% placed more importance on providing a vision for their business. Nearly one in 10 (9%) respondents selected establishing rules and structure, and only 7% selected setting an example for their employees.

Effectiveness of Leadership Development Programs

A number of talent strategy professionals observed that every organization is different and the specific leaderships skills needed depends on the business objectives of the organization. Others believe transformational skills and the ability to translate strategic objectives in one’s own role and function are essential. Unfortunately, merely being able to identify the types of skills needed to become an effective leader in today’s workplace is not enough for companies to know how to develop those skills.

Even with an increase in spending on leadership development, nearly 9 out of 10 global HR and business leaders (86%) in a Deloitte survey have cited leadership as a top issue. A full 50% of respondents in the survey rated their leadership shortfalls as “very important”.  Only 6% of organizations surveyed consider their leadership pipeline “very ready” which emphasizes a serious capacity gap.

The reasons that leadership development program are failing range from not having long-term, multi-year talent development plans to inadequate sponsorship at the senior management levels. In many cases talent management and development becomes a type of “check-the-box” exercise with no connection that provides clear and ongoing feedback to emerging leaders. Furthermore, organizations rarely establish their talent pipeline soon enough.

A recent Mercer study on global leadership found that almost two-thirds of the organizations studied did not routinely conduct leadership pipeline projections. Identifying talent earlier can ensure that organizations have a longer “runway” to develop this talent. Frequently, organizations conduct a one-time talent identification exercise that lack adequate follow-up on how the talent will be developed beyond an immediate set of training interventions. A fragmented approach that lacks continuous monitoring of where people are in their development journey will likely produce ineffective results.

A Total Talent Management System Is Essential

The team at the Talent Management Institute, a division of Effectiveness, Inc. founded in 1975, has developed a Total Talent Management System™ which includes a Job-Talent Fit and a Coach-Based Team Leadership Development Process.

Click on the following link to obtain the Executive Summary Report, “Fully Engaged Top Talent: Key to Excellence for Knowledge-Based Enterprises.”

Total Talent Management System

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