Where are the future leaders?

0
134

In India, only 38 percent of India HR professionals were confident of their organisation’s bench strength — the supply to fill critical leadership positions over the next three years and 40 per cent believed that their succession management system and processes were low or very low effectiveness.

Live for today but prepare for a better tomorrow is what every organisation wants to achieve. However, most organisations across the world fail to practice this. According to a survey by DDI, EY and The Conference Board, inability to create a leadership pipeline and failure to attract or retain top talent has emerged as big concern for organisations across the world and their respective HR teams.

Of those surveyed, 64 per cent and 60 per cent of global respondents said that developing ‘Next Gen’ leaders and failure to attract and retain top talent were their key challenges. Among Indian respondents, the number was 68 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively.

This research integrates data from 25,812 leaders and 2,547 HR professionals across 2,488 organisations across the globe. From India, 1,363 leaders and 161 HR professionals were interviewed for this survey.

More than 2,500 HR professionals across the globe interviewed for this survey opined that identifying and developing future talent is the most critical skill leaders will need in three years.

In India, only 38 percent of India HR professionals were confident of their organisation’s bench strength — the supply to fill critical leadership positions over the next three years and 40 per cent believed that their succession management system and processes were low or very low effectiveness.

In Indian organisations, on an average, only 39 percent of positions could be filled by an internal candidate immediately, opined the HR professionals. This implies that they will have to search outside for leaders who are often-costlier and are of higher-risk

On the contrary, the employees were keen to take up leadership roles. Around 85 percent employees felt they were ready to take on leadership role before they were asked or even the opportunity was available.

There is a glaring gap between the perceived readiness of employees to become leaders and their actual readiness as perceived by the organisation.

One of the biggest gaps that has emerged in this survey is that only 39 percent of HR professionals were involved in strategic planning from its inception. The fact is that leadership strategy should never standalone from an organisation’s strategic plans.

This diminishes the role HR can, and should, play in connecting the business to required leadership capability.

Besides, organisations follow a top down or top only view approach. Globally, organisations that opt to extend their development of high-potential talent below senior levels are 4.2 times more likely to outperform those that don’t on a financial composite of revenue growth, operating margin, EBITDA, and return on equity. However, in India, nearly half of the organisations (44 percent) limit their potential focus to only senior-most levels and the approach has not changes over the years.

In the last six years business leaders in India have not found significant change with respect to the quality of leadership. Leaders have had glass half full perspective, but HR professionals have seen some drop in leadership quality especially at middle and lower levels of leadership in their organisation.

What are the skills that the leaders of both today and tomorrow need to acquire in order to steer their organisations to a steady growth.

Digital & Data
Digital skills have emerged as a big differentiator. Organisations with digitally savvy leaders are outperforming those organisations with less digitally capable leaders. A common question that every company is asking today “What do we need to do to enable our leaders to meet the digital challenge?”

They are comparing themselves to the new age startups firms who have been in business for few years yet have been able to achieve revenues and market capitalisation upwards of few billion USD in no time.

As our work world becomes increasingly digital, that performance gap will only grow.

Leaders, therefore, need to understand the impact digital tech can have on their businesses. They sense what is and isn’t possible and, more important, sense what will be possible. They look to standardise and automate processes to generate new insights they can leverage for differentiated capabilities. This is a relatively weak area for leaders.

Leader Diversity
In India, 11 percent of leadership roles are currently occupied by women. Our global research reveals that companies that have reached an above-average level of gender diversity overall (at least 30 percent) and at the senior-level (more than 20 percent), outperform diversity laggards in key leadership and business outcomes

Support HR
Building digital organisations requires a reset of talent and leadership infrastructures. The HR function must transform to become nimbler, data-driven, tech-savvy, and tied to the evolving business needs.

In India, only 15 percent of HR professionals report being very prepared to operate in a digital environment. This is quite ironic!

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here