Developing more effective leaders is critical for Australian organisations to succeed in the years ahead.
Ensconced in a long period of slow economic growth, Australian organisations need leaders to drive innovation, increase market share, and grow profitability.
Traditionally, organisations have develop leaders to drive efficiency and operational excellence and while this will always be important, the unrelenting pace of technological change and globalization requires that organisations develop leaders who can effectively respond to constantly evolving business opportunities and threats and chart a path to sustainable growth.
Most organisations understand that they need to develop more agile and change-oriented leaders. However, in many organisations, execution is falling short.
Historically, many Australian organisations focused their leadership development efforts on senior leadership and neglected mid-level, first-level, and high potential leaders. Moreover, many Australian companies invested in off-the-shelf, topic-driven leadership development programs that lacked a connection to their businesses and failed to provide a long-term path for individuals to develop their leadership abilities.
To develop leaders to meet tomorrow’s challenges, Australian businesses need to re-engineer their leadership development programs by doing the following:
- Define their long-term business strategy, identify the kinds of leaders required to execute their strategy, and then build a development/recruiting approach based on those profiles.
- Orient their leadership development programs around their business and strategic issues – an approach which will generate engagement and innovative thinking.
- Make leadership development a central part of their cultures and provide individual leaders with a path toward continuous development and improvement.
The stakes are high. Leadership development is a powerful tool that can transform organisations by aligning leaders and strategy, instilling a more purposeful culture, and increasing engagement throughout an organisation. Organisations that embrace leadership development will be best positioned to respond to changing business conditions, seizing opportunities, and succeeding over the long term.