Leadership Development: The Talent War

Growing Talent as if your Business Depended on It” by Jeffrey M. Cohn, Rakesh Khurana and Laura Reeves.
The authors explain what makes a successful leadership development program, based on their research over the past few years with companies in a range of industries. They describe how several forward-thinking companies (Tyson Foods, Starbucks, and Mellon Financial, in particular) are implementing smart, integrated, talent development initiatives.
Companies whose boards and senior executives fail to prioritize succession planning and leadership development end up experiencing a steady attrition in talent and becoming extremely vulnerable when they have to cope with inevitable upheavals – integrating an acquired company with a different operating style and culture, for instance, or reexamining basic operating assumptions when a competitor with a leaner cost structure emerges. Firms that haven’t focused on their systems for building their bench strength will probably make wrong decisions in these situations.
Personally, I think companies need to develop their workers as well, not just their leaders. That’s the real problem.
Also, most companies make leadership development an HR function. That’s another problem.
It’s the CEO who needs to develop leaders across the company. Remember Jack Welch and Crotonville?
And, oh, I forgot about executive pay. Our leaders are too busy lining their pockets to lead…

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