InSights - What you didn't know you didn't know

Bringing More “Science” To Leadership Development

2013 Global Leadership Research featuring Best Companies for Leaders has launched!

Leadership in lock step with talent management has seemingly become the primary focus of this millennium’s business consultants, authors, and associations – and, for good reason; people are the only long-term competitive advantage we can develop!

Chally has been compiling analytical research applying the principles of TQM to the human side of organizations with the surprising, but irrefutable, evidence that our old “star” mentality of attempting to select the right people, motivating them with exceptional rewards, and supporting them with all the other non-stars just doesn’t work for long in most public organizations bigger than one.

TQM research in organizations teaches us that business stars are exciting, praise worthy, and often great authors. However, these stars are usually over-rated as business resources. Jim Collins has documented the flaws of the well-positioned, flamboyant types, who are indeed very good, but out-performed by those who are less flashy and often invisible outside their own organizations. Jack Welch, for example, led GE from $26.8 billion (the year before he assumed leadership) to over $150 billion the year before he retired. However, under the leaders he put in place, GE lost over $300 billion in the next 10 years. In contrast, companies reported by Collins such as Walgreens, with a much less visible leader have continued to grow through leadership succession.

Chally Worldwide and its partners believe it’s time to move past research for “marketing value” to research that can advance our organizational effectiveness. We are focused on three differentiators from the typical annually published corporate Olympics ranking of leaders and companies through a panel of experts as if this were figure skating or diving competitions.

  • First, we have assembled a broad team of both academic and business experts … to design the data collection … and analyze the data collected. This does not remove all the problems of self-report data, but does insure that the data is provided by individuals who have first-hand knowledge versus outsiders who may or may not have intimate knowledge of the companies involved.
  • Second, this research project will become an ongoing progression of data and analysis with each year building further insights on the previous years’ findings, and tracking changes and trends in leadership development techniques.
  • Third, we’ll develop categories or levels of leadership development effectiveness since the economic indicators suggest that there are little to no effective differences between companies within the same quartile.

Past Global Leadership Research results can be found here

2013 Global Leadership Research Launched

The 2013 Global Leadership Research featuring Chief Executive Magazine’s “Best Companies for Leaders” has been launched.  We are asking C-Level and Human Resource Executives to give us their input for the research.  If you are interested in participating, go to our survey page here: Take Survey

Brief Findings from Past Leadership Research:

Top-ranked companies for developing leaders produce substantially better financial performance than bottom-ranked companies.

  • Top-ranked companies had a 10-year growth of market cap of 17% while bottom-ranked companies lost 2%.
  • Top-ranked companies produced 5% total returns to shareholders, while the bottom-ranked companies lost 39%.

The required competencies for different “C-level” positions are substantially different.

  • Only CEOs are seen as having responsibility for strategy.
  • Only COOs had as many as two of the four most important competencies in common with the CEO; Finance CFOs who are most likely to rise to CEO, had only one. This suggests that job rotation may be invaluable for understanding the business, but less helpful in preparing high potentials in planning strategy for the future.The most frequent sources of succession failure or “leadership risk factors” are related to people skills.
  • This failure was amplified if the promotions were internal.
  • The primary cause of leader failure was reported as “failure to adapt to the culture.”

The data is insufficient, but there are strong indicators supporting real differences in required competencies in Asia and the Far East.

  • Non-Western companies are more likely to share strategic reasonability across several “C-Suite” leaders.
  • Less personal, profit-driven economies, such as China, seem to have dramatically different leadership requirements.

The extent of the CEOs personal involvement in the Leadership Development Process is a critical key to the program’s overall effectiveness.