Cos Doing Little to Prepare Leaders, Say Top Executive

Leading and governing a global organisation is more complex than managing a multinational, according to leaders of top global companies. However, few feel their companies are doing enough to cope with the complexity or to prepare a pipeline of global leaders with the skills needed for future competitive success, according to a study by Accenture’s Institute for High Performance. 
Researchers interviewed 50 of the most senior and influential executives at 39 global companies from five continents, including countries like India, China, Germany, Switzerland, UK, US, South Korea. Some of the companies that were are part of the research included Deutsche Telekom, Diageo, Nokia India, Reliance, Tata Steel, Thermax, Infosys China, LG Electronics and Merck & Co. 
The research showed that for the top 1% to 2% of executives to be effective in a global environment, its leadership group must be agile, demonstrate foresight and be able to use synthetic intelligence through a combination of experience and analytics. 
“The style that is beginning to emerge is no longer relying on a single global operating committee or executive council but distributing responsibilities,” says Robert J Thomas, managing director – growth and strategy at Accenture Institute for High Performance, which conducted the study, ‘Leadership Ensembles: Orchestrating the Global Company’. This quality of a leader being flexible and having a better understanding of a problem through discussion and debate is becoming increasingly important, he adds. 
Differences in language, custom, 
politics and so on, divide markets as well as top management. And bridging those differences requires from senior leaders a level of agility more closely resembling that of a musical ensemble than the usual executive board consisting of the CEO and direct reports, says Thomas. 
“There is growing recognition that problems can be solved more effectively by leaders who recognise leader-like behaviour of employees at the ground level and those who are able to make a diverse set of minds work together intelligently,” says Jayesh Pandey, managing director, talent and organisation, Accenture. Adds Thomas: “In a global economy, the ability of the top leadership to think collectively to solve problems is becoming crucial”. 

 

Source: Economic Times

Date: 17th October 2013

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