What’s Keeping CEOs and HR up at Night?

| By TMA World

Development Dimensions International and the Conference Board recently published their Global Leadership Forecast 2018.  More than 1,000 C-level executives worldwide identified the issues they expect to command their attention in the coming year.

The most startling finding is that only 14% of CEOs believe they have the leadership talent they need to execute their strategy.

Here are the top 10 challenges from the forecast: 

Developing “Next Gen” leaders 64%
Failure to attract/retain top talent 60%
New competitors globally 48%
Cyber-security 28%
Slowing economic growth in emerging markets 25%
Labor relations 24%
Global recession 22%
Income inequality/disparity 21%
Outdated/Insufficient national infrastructure 20%
Global political uncertainty 18%


Key findings:

  • Only 41% of respondents believe their organization’s leadership development program to be of high or very high quality.  35% assessed both their “leadership assessment” and “leadership performance” programs to be of high or very high quality.
  • Over 2,500 HR professionals said that identifying and developing future talent is the most critical skill for leaders in the next 3 years.  Overall, the HR professionals’ assessments of their organization were lower than the C- level leaders.
  • Only 35% of HR professionals rated their organization’s bench strength – the supply of candidates to fill critical leadership positions over the next three years – at any level of strength (slightly strong, strong, or very strong).  Only 43% of positions could be filled by an internal candidate immediately.
  • 37% believe their succession management system and processes to be of low or very low effectiveness.

Other worrying findings from the HR respondents include:

  • 50% do not have well-integrated and strategically aligned leadership development programs or processes.
  • 78% see their leadership career planning/pathing systems as only moderately effective or worse.
  • 65% do not believe their leaders have high-quality, effective development plans.
  • 35% do not have a program to develop high potentials, and 45% of those that don’t measure the effectiveness of the programs.
  • 73% do not apply negative consequences when leaders fail to develop leaders on their team.
  • 52% do not know the up-to-date status of leadership talent capability across their organization.

What are the primary reasons your CEO and HR executives might be up at night, and what are they doing about them?  What can you do about them in your sphere of influence? 

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