Managing Critical Programs for Future Leaders

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<p><strong>Palo Alto, Calif. &mdash; July 17</strong><br />For CEOs and their senior management teams, programs designed for high-potential leaders in their organization are seen as a crucial component to help alleviate the management shortage that many companies across all industries might face soon. </p><p>A new study by The Institute of Executive Development and RHR International, however, reveals some surprising results on how these programs are structured and managed. </p><p>The study, &ldquo;High Potential Leadership Selection &amp; Development,&rdquo; contains data from more than 50 organizations who have participated. </p><p>Among the key findings:</p><ul><li>80 percent of respondents have high-potential&nbsp; development programs.<br /></li><li>A third of those programs have been in place fewer than two years.</li><li> 15 percent of respondents are in the process of designing programs.<br /></li><li>5 percent of respondents are not planning to implement a program.<br /></li><li>&ldquo;Ability to develop others&rdquo; was the top skill desired of new leaders.<br /></li><li>Among respondents with programs more than two years old, &ldquo;retention of high performers&rdquo; was cited as a key factor driving their focus.<br /></li><li>Respondents with programs for fewr than two years were more likely to select &ldquo;revenue growth.&rdquo;<br />or &ldquo;expansion into new markets&rdquo;<br /></li><li>Senior executive commitment is one of the most critical success factors.<br /></li></ul><p>&ldquo;For most organizations, developing high-potential managers and leaders is a strategic imperative, yet<br />the data on issues such as the reason for the program&rsquo;s existence and the most desired skills of future<br />leaders runs counter to some of the prevailing thoughts in the industry,&rdquo; said Scott Saslow, The<br />Institute of Executive Development executive director.</p><p>Another unexpected element of the study is the fact that many organizations have not taken international<br />issues into account in their high-potential leadership development activities. </p><p>Fifty percent have not assessed if skills and competencies are different in various parts of the world, and 44 percent have not considered how different types of development activities should be deployed for diverse populations of managers. </p><p>Of those who did address the skill and competencies issue, 96 percent indicate that the skill sets required in<br />different parts of the world are similar.</p><p>The survey data also reveals the number and type of high-potential development methods used depends on the maturity level of the company&rsquo;s program. </p><p>For example, although mentoring is the method used most frequently by organizations designing high-potential processes, several development methods (e.g., executive coaching, stretch assignments and increasing the scope of the high potential&rsquo;s current role) outrank mentoring for those companies with more than five years of high-potential process experience.</p><p>On the issue of program budgets (over the next three years):</p><ul><li>8 percent of respondents expect a funding decrease.<br /></li><li>46 percent expect no change.<br /></li><li>46 percent expect a funding increase.<br /></li><li>15 percent of the total respondents expect annual increases of 10 percent or more.<br /></li></ul><p>&ldquo;Results of this study to date indicate that many organizations, while aware of the need for cultivating the next generation of leaders, are still struggling with goals, methods and measurements,&rdquo; said Jeff Durocher, RHR International vice president of market development.</p><p>This benchmark study involves organizations from multiple industries such as Aetna, Deloitte Consulting, Dow Jones, Flextronics, Hitachi, Kraft Foods, SUN Microsystems and Wells Fargo. </p><p>Although the majority of companies taking part are from North America, some are based in Europe and Asia</p>

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