By Kim Stafford
Kim Stafford is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for MHI Global and plays an important role in connecting all the key resources in the company's expanded global network. Prior to taking on this role, Kim was the Vice President Asia for AchieveGlobal. Kim is originally from Canada, and she feels fortunate that her career has allowed her to live and work in many different parts of the world.
These days, you might expect that the question, “What challenges do your organization’s leaders face?” would be answered sarcastically with, “What challenges don’t they face?”
Truth is, the business environment today is such that leaders are often beset by a number of big picture issues like the uncertain economic environment, rapid technological change and intensified competition.
Yet, in our recent report, Let's Look at the Small Picture: Reframing Your Leadership Development Challenges, AchieveGlobal uncovered eight functional issues that create leadership development challenges in today’s organizations:
- Retaining an engaged workforce
- Establishing formal leadership training within the organization
- Building toward succession to address employee turnover
- Increasing self-management skills among technical experts and project leaders
- Fast-tracking select employees for higher positions
- Developing middle managers
- Managing change and innovation to address competitive pressures
- Emphasizing teamwork and collaborative approaches
Toward addressing these challenges, organizations want frontline and middle managers to achieve behavioral outcomes that may include.
- Cultivating core leadership skills: building strong work relationships, delegating, listening
- Staying on track and productive
- Coaching others through motivation
- Managing performance
- Addressing challenges, like technical problems, conflict and changing demographics in the workplace
- Leading with a sense of purpose
- Leading other managers by sharing information, clarifying strategic vision and seeking executive support
- Building the future by supporting a culture of innovation
Our report goes on to identify patterns in the primary outcomes that organizations target for each developmental challenge, and how specific solutions help learners demonstrate the real, day-to-day behaviors. But perhaps even more importantly, the report itself encourages organizations to at least initiate discussion on leadership development challenges and begin the conversation about desired outcomes, required commitment and the role of learning in achieving strategic goals.