And the Survey Says…

Jocelyn Bérard, M.Ps. MBA is the Vice President of International Leadership and Business Solutions (Vice-président Leadership et Solutions d’Affaires — Internationale) at Global Knowledge Canada

A recent Global Knowledge Canada published Special Report entitled Looking to the Future surveyed over 400 leaders and managers across Canada representing all organizational levels and a wide range of industries and functional areas. Respondents were asked to identify what is required to overcome their top business challenges for today and into the future.

We asked five key questions, and here are the results:

  1. Respondents expect the top business challenges they face today to remain their biggest challenges for the next few years
  2. To overcome their top business challenges, both senior leaders and front-line managers will require either:
    • New perspectives and new areas of expertise or
    • A transformation in thinking and behavior
  3. To address their top business challenges, key organizational development opportunities were identified:
    People Driver Opportunities
    Organizational Alignment Aligning Organizational Structure (People) to Strategy
    Organizational Culture Development Creating a Performance-Driven Culture
    Enabling Effective Decision-Making
    Enabling Work/Life Balance
    Talent Management Acquiring and Retaining High Quality Talent
    Managing for Succession
  4. The leadership competency 75% of the respondents see as most important today and in the future to both individual and organizational success is Communication. Improvement is required across ALL leadership competencies and ALL leadership behaviors. The competencies either identified as most important or with the biggest gaps are:
    • Communication (crosses all competencies)
    • Planning (Vision, Strategic Planning, Performance Planning)
    • Execution (delivering to plan)
    • Decision Making
    • Coaching, Mentoring and People Development
    • Knowledge Sharing or Knowledge Transfer
    • Engaging the Full Creative Potential of Employees
    • Accountability
  5. When asked what type of learning experience would lead to the greatest impact on improving performance, 80% of the respondents noted that the learning experience must be designed to enable participants to either:
    • Reframe or reshape their underlying patterns of thinking and behavior in order to do things differently from today, or
    • Embrace the unknown in order to create and integrate new realities coupled with the need to create a learning environment that will help students shift or expand mindsets is the new reality consisting of online and computer based methods and virtual classroom/web approaches as future learning methods

In a nutshell, the findings suggest that when it comes to leadership, doing things the same old way doesn’t work anymore. Transactional and transitional changes, on their own, are not adequately addressing top business challenges. Transformational change is required. Tomorrow’s leaders require a transformation in thinking and behavior, tomorrow’s organizations require a transformation in how work gets done, and tomorrow’s leadership training requires a transformation in design and delivery methodologies.

To access the full Special Report: Looking to the Future — Leadership and Learning Forecast for Business Leaders, visit www.globalknowledge.ca/lwi.

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