Strategy & LeadershipHRD People Leaders’ Report 2019: Sneak Preview

HRD People Leaders' Report 2019: Sneak Preview

A sneak preview of this year's HRD People Leaders' Report - a comprehensive guide to all things leadership-related, based on a comprehensive survey of global HR professionals.

Much has been written about the role of the leader in today’s business world. The advent of new technologies brings with it a ream of opportunities and challenges, ways of working are constantly changing, and employee expectations are starkly different from what they were even a decade ago.

How can organisations – in particular their leaders – tackle these challenges? What do the leaders of tomorrow look like, and how can organisations set about identifying and developing them?

This year’s HRD People Leader’s Report, to be released in full later this week, provides a comprehensive guide to all things leadership-related. Its revelations are based on our comprehensive survey of global HR professionals and unearthed (among others) the following fascinating findings:

  • Organisations deem developing leaders for the future as their biggest opportunity over the next twelve months.
  • The ability to navigate and manage change is the most desirable quality for the leaders of tomorrow.
  • When identifying potential leaders for the future, HR professionals also look for those with clear communication skills – and the perceived importance of charisma has significantly waned.

Does this mean that the traditional style of leadership – with its ‘command and control’ nature – is dead? Not necessarily. There’s still a definite need for many so-called ‘traditional’ leadership qualities, such as having the ability to confidently and effectively manage complex business needs.

However, some of the more bullish characteristics of yesterday’s leaders are certainly a thing of the past. Today’s organisations are not nearly as hierarchical as they used to be, and so possessing great interpersonal skills is becoming an increasingly important attribute for those in leadership positions.

Many respondents also told us that ever-changing ways of working are making identifying and nurturing future leaders an increasingly complex process. To further muddy the waters, they stated that corporate organisations, governmental bodies and educational institutions arguably all have a part to play in developing these leaders.

To help digest and make sense of the reponses, we were fortunate enough to receive the expert insight from three of Columbia Business School’s leading minds: Professor Katherine Phillips, Professor Paul Ingram, and Professor William Pietersen. Their years of academic research combined with practical, real-life experience were able to corroborate our survey’s results and lend weight to the report’s findings.

Additionally, our panel of corporate interviewees, including representatives from IBM, Vodafone, The European Space Agency and Liverpool FC, weigh in on prevailing questions regarding diversity in leadership, the war for talent, and the difficulties of digital transformation efforts.

Stayed tuned for the full release the HRD People Leaders’ Report later this week.

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