August 7, 2012
Tackling the Leadership Crisis: 84% of Companies Report Renewed Focus on Leadership Development, According to New Survey — Current Critical Leadership Skills Gap Has Businesses Increasing Investment in Leadership Development Programs
Fortune 1000 companies do not have enough leaders coming up through the ranks to fill open and future leadership positions, according to a survey by The CARA Group, a human performance consulting firm that partners with clients to create customized learning initiatives, including leadership development programs. To remedy the current lack of leadership skills and limited talent pipeline, caused in part by recession cuts to critical leadership programs, the survey reveals there is an emerging renewed commitment to leadership development among companies of all sizes. The survey, The Rising Risk of a Double-Dip Leadership Crisis: A Pulse Survey on Exploring the Increased Focus on Leadership Development, also explores how businesses are currently investing in leadership development, where they focus their resources and what critical gaps are emerging in leadership talent. Leadership, organizational development and training executives from Fortune 1000 companies participated in the survey. "The survey results are very promising in that organizations report they are taking necessary steps to quickly correct the current leadership skills gap," said CARA senior vice president Jane Ehrenstrom in a news release. "We are seeing firsthand that businesses understand the potential consequences of not developing high potential leadership talent. They are meeting the challenge with innovative programs to help cultivate the leaders needed to competitively drive their organizations into the future."
Key findings of the 2012 CARA survey include:
- More than half (62%) of respondents say their organizations face a leadership skills gap
- 84% of respondents say their organizations have increased leadership development focus in the last two to three years
- Only 9% percent of respondents say their current leadership development programs are "very effective," while 56% describe their programs as only "somewhat effective" or "ineffective"
- The top three most critical skill gaps of leaders-in-training are leading others (54%), managing change (43%) and strategic planning/vision development (40%)
- Online learning and development (66%) is the number one way companies are leveraging technology in their leadership development programs
"The survey revealed the need to significantly improve the quality of leadership development programs," said Michelle Reid-Powell, vice president of talent management and organizational effectiveness for CARA, in the release. "Best practices from our client work indicate several ways to improve these programs, including elevating leadership as a differentiator in a company's strategic plan, aligning leadership development programs with business objectives and strategic business vision, and creating formal mentoring programs. I expect that we'll see these best practices implemented more widely as companies continue to expand their leadership development programs."
CARA surveyed a diverse group of industries in the Fortune 1000, with the highest percentage representing the healthcare, insurance, pharmaceuticals and biotech, financial services and telecommunications industries. Companies who participated in the survey ranged from mid-sized companies to global enterprises exceeding $40 billion in revenue, and with employees ranging from less than 1,000 to more than 50,000. Go here for a copy of the report.