COMPANIES WITH STRONG LEADERS GROW REVENUES TWICE AS FAST AS THOSE WITH WEAK LEADERS
CEB Advises Organizations to Rethink Their Approach to Leadership; Executives Must Become “Network Leaders” to Succeed in Today’s New Work Environment
The company’s Executive Guidance for 2014 shows that shifts in workplace dynamics – from an overwhelming amount of information to accelerating globalization to increased requirements for cross-company collaboration – mean that traditional approaches to leadership and the skills leaders possess are no longer enough to achieve desired business outcomes. Leaders must take on a new role, “network leadership,” in addition to the more traditional transactional and transformational roles. Network leadership is about helping employees collaborate across business silos in order to maximize productivity and strengthen the performance of the overall organization.
“Network leadership is going to be critical for organizations to remain competitive in the new work environment,” said Conrad Schmidt, global research officer, CEB. “In order for organizations to achieve higher growth, truly differentiate themselves from competitors and maintain an edge, they must set a higher bar for their leaders, requiring them to go beyond setting strategic direction and driving execution.”
Unfortunately, most leaders and organizations are not prepared to embrace such change. In fact, only 37 percent of executives believe their leadership bench has the skills required to achieve critical results today. To build capable network leaders, organizations need to encourage leaders to be more than just individual motivators and require them to take on a more collaborative and network-building role.
Organizations seeking to develop network leaders who consistently deliver strong profit and revenue growth should:
- Help Leaders Manage Differently – Encourage leaders to guide employees on how to work more effectively in their networks instead of directing what employees do in their work.
- Build Network Leadership Skills – Approach leadership development differently, by focusing on developing leaders’ agility, providing them with exposure to diverse work experiences and highlighting the benefits of – and tools for – building networks.
- Create Succession Plans for Network Leadership – Move away from predictable, linear succession plans and adopt a portfolio approach to managing the leadership bench including attention to the demand for network leaders as corporate assets.
CEB, the leading member-based advisory company, equips more than 10,000 organizations around the globe with insights, tools and actionable solutions to transform enterprise performance. By combining advanced research and analytics with best practices from member companies, CEB helps leaders realize outsized returns by more effectively managing talent, information, customers and risk. Member companies include approximately 85% of the Fortune 500, half the Dow Jones Asian Titans, and nearly 85% of the FTSE 100. More at cebglobal.com.