Best Companies Pursue Global Leadership Programs

High-performing companies are aggressively pursuing global leadership development programs, according to a new study of more than 1,700 organizations in more than 20 industry segments on six continents by the American Management Association (A.M.A.).

The study examined not only global leadership and development programs, but also their links to overall market performance based on revenue growth, market share, profitability and customer focus. Fifty-eight percent of high-performing companies have introduced some form of global leadership development program compared to 34 percent of low-performing organizations in the study.

Of the total 1,757 survey respondent population, 30.6 percent reported that their organization has a global leadership program in place.

“Globalization is the single biggest influence on leadership development today,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice president for A.M.A. Enterprise, which partners with organizations to unleash the hidden potential of their human capital. “At one time, global issues were relevant just for expatriates who would serve a tour overseas, then global issues were extended more widely into the curriculum for all leaders, and today globalization actually shapes the programs for organizations in every sector.”

According to Edwards, senior management is more than ever expected to improve performance globally and to do so with greater consistency and effectiveness. “This means that up-and-coming leaders require a broader skill set than in the past. Top leaders need to think and act globally.”

As businesses begin to operate in a global environment, Edwards said, the demands of leadership go global as well. “With the shift from multinational to global organizations, cultural differences become more important in understanding leadership and designing and delivering effective development programs. Leading globally requires making decisions in complex or ambiguous environments, understanding cultural nuances and adapting one’s style accordingly. Leaders need to be equipped to handle such ambiguity and complexity.”

Among other findings:

>> Critical thinking and problem-solving, change management, and leading cross-cultural teams are the most widely taught competencies.

>> Certain competencies, such as managing change, exhibiting agility and developing global strategies, have proved more difficult for executives to master.

>> High-performing companies increasingly go beyond “high potentials” to offer global leadership development to a broader segment of their workforce.

>> Senior executives are becoming more directly involved in such programs, notably in establishing the business results needed and in communicating about the program.

>> Cultural components are expected to dominate the new competencies required for global leaders over the next 10 years.

High-performing companies are aggressively pursuing global leadership development programs, according to a new study of more than 1,700 organizations in more than 20 industry segments on six continents by the American Management Association (A.M.A.).

The study examined not only global leadership and development programs, but also their links to overall market performance based on revenue growth, market share, profitability and customer focus. Fifty-eight percent of high-performing companies have introduced some form of global leadership development program compared to 34 percent of low-performing organizations in the study.

Of the total 1,757 survey respondent population, 30.6 percent reported that their organization has a global leadership program in place.

“Globalization is the single biggest influence on leadership development today,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice president for A.M.A. Enterprise, which partners with organizations to unleash the hidden potential of their human capital. “At one time, global issues were relevant just for expatriates who would serve a tour overseas, then global issues were extended more widely into the curriculum for all leaders, and today globalization actually shapes the programs for organizations in every sector.”

According to Edwards, senior management is more than ever expected to improve performance globally and to do so with greater consistency and effectiveness. “This means that up-and-coming leaders require a broader skill set than in the past. Top leaders need to think and act globally.”

As businesses begin to operate in a global environment, Edwards said, the demands of leadership go global as well. “With the shift from multinational to global organizations, cultural differences become more important in understanding leadership and designing and delivering effective development programs. Leading globally requires making decisions in complex or ambiguous environments, understanding cultural nuances and adapting one’s style accordingly. Leaders need to be equipped to handle such ambiguity and complexity.”

Among other findings:

>> Critical thinking and problem-solving, change management, and leading cross-cultural teams are the most widely taught competencies.

>> Certain competencies, such as managing change, exhibiting agility and developing global strategies, have proved more difficult for executives to master.

>> High-performing companies increasingly go beyond “high potentials” to offer global leadership development to a broader segment of their workforce.

>> Senior executives are becoming more directly involved in such programs, notably in establishing the business results needed and in communicating about the program.

>> Cultural components are expected to dominate the new competencies required for global leaders over the next 10 years.

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