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September 2014
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TD Magazine

The 'Sad State' of Global Leadership

Less than one-fourth of executives are satisfied with their organizations' global leadership.

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Intelligence1
Organizations aren't adopting a sufficiently global mindset, say the authors of Global Leadership Development: Knowledge Immersion Now. The report from the American Management Association and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, which surveyed more than 1,000 executives from 57 countries, found that although more organizations say they "address global leadership," fewer are satisfied with how they do so.

"Indeed, for companies investing millions in creating a global leadership outlook there seems little to show for it," says Jennifer Jones, director at AMA Enterprise.

Forty-four percent of respondents said their firms are addressing global leadership, a figure that grew from 31 percent in 2010. However, respondents were more critical of their programs' effectiveness when compared with previous years. In 2010, 42 percent considered their global leadership development programs to be effective or very effective, but that number dropped to 19 percent in 2014.

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On the bright side, this is evidence of heightened expectations of global leadership, says Jones. "Developing leaders with global skills and competencies is about enabling the organization to operate more effectively on a global basis. But it's also about creating a more inclusive culture and equipping leaders to be better at collaborating with, coaching, and influencing employees of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and customs."

The report offered a few guidelines for strengthening your organization's global leadership:

  • Be on the lookout for employees at all levels who demonstrate the ability to influence others and collaborate effectively.
  • When selecting participants for a global leadership program, the use of behavioral assessments also may help identify employees with global leadership potential.
  • Align the curriculum with the business's long-term strategy and goals.
  • To be truly global, focus the curriculum on the local markets in which the business is operating. Make an effort to immerse participants in the cultures and customs within these markets.
About the Author

Stephanie Castellano is a former writer/editor for the Association for Talent Development (ATD). She is now a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Virginia.

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