New York — Nov. 3
In a clear sign that corporate management is striving to compete successfully in today’s worldwide marketplace, a majority of large organizations have implemented or plan to implement global leadership development initiatives, according to a study of nearly 1,000 companies on six continents by the American Management Association (AMA) in partnership with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).
“Doing business today means operating in a marketplace that is global, no matter where you’re headquartered,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice president for AMA Corporate Learning Solutions, which offers advisory services and tailored learning programs to organizations. “Top management is pressed to find ways to improve performance and to do so with greater consistency and effectiveness. This means that upcoming leaders need to have a broader skill set, one that equips them to think and act globally.”
In response to the question, “Do you currently have a global leadership development program/curriculum?” 31 percent of respondents said, “Yes, and we’ve implemented at least one such initiative;” 14 percent said, “Yes, we’ve developed at least one but have not fully implemented anything yet;” 17 percent said, “No, we don’t but are planning to develop one or more;” and 38 percent said, “No, we don’t and have no plans to develop one.”
The most widely taught competencies were critical thinking and problem solving, change management, building and leading cross-cultural teams, ability to influence and build coalitions, and execution of global strategies, reported Edwards.
“But the study found that these, the most popular competencies, weren’t necessarily the ones that correlated most highly with market performance or global leadership effectiveness,” Edwards said. “Among those critically important competencies were agility and adaptability to manage global shifts, expansion of the organization’s brand in local and global commerce as well as innovation management.”
Most commonly participating in global leadership training were vice presidents, directors and targeted high-potential executives.
“Not surprisingly, those respondents that identified their organizations as ‘global’ were much more likely to report that they have developed and/or implemented such a program, twice as likely in fact, or 62 percent,” Edwards said. “Likewise, just 12 percent of participants working in ‘national’ organizations indicated they have global leadership initiatives.”
AMA joined with i4cp to study what high-performance companies do differently. The study population consisted of primarily senior-level business, human resources and management professional contacts drawn from both AMA and i4cp. These were surveyed via e-mail, and 939 usable responses were collected. Three-quarters of the companies (75 percent) represented in the survey are headquartered in North America: 65 percent are based in the U.S. and nearly 10 percent are based in Canada.
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