Leadership Development Predictions: 2016 and Beyond

As we approach the end of the year, our team looks back at what we learnt about leadership development this year and how these insights are going to impact the year ahead.

  1. Closing of capability gaps

While self-driven learners will need to be involved in their development planning and held accountable to maintain a level of skill required for their current and future roles, organisations will find that business defined and offered training will remain the primary source of capability development. The linkage between the requirements to drive the business imperatives and strategy will need to be closely aligned to the talent capability development offerings and the learner pathways.

What will shift is how business leaders in partnership with L & D and Talent will define the capability gaps required to drive the strategies and on-going shift in strategies and market place conditions to compete. Additionally learners will have access to various social, digital and on the job support to master the capability development in a more structured continuous learning system.

  1. Continuation of the 70/20/10 framework

The 70/20/10 Framework in concept will continue, however organisations will have gained the insight and expertise that the implementation pathways for this concept are specific to each business based on various factors such as who needs to learn, what is the learning strategy, how significant are the gaps and development requirements, what level of ownership do managers and leadership have in developing others, is there a strong coaching culture in place and what is the specific demand for change to see the business impact. For most organisations the Implementation of this concept will look more like 40/20/40 as organisations continue to realise that structured learning whether in University or Academy model in the business is required to ensure strong alignment to the business imperatives and talent strategies.

The adjustments in deploying the model will come in the way the programmes are designed, how they market them, what is done to apply on the job and how they define the needs in partnership with the business around specific initiatives and transformational requirements.

  1. Inclusion and diversity will gain continued focus as   strategic imperative of the board and c-level

Inclusion and diversity will not be a concept that sits outside the other strategic imperatives and it will become a primary strategic imperative for organisations. The focus will move from just gender equity to a broader focus on diversity and inclusion competencies to evaluate the ability of leaders to be inclusive in problem solving, decision making, how they collaborate and seek different perspectives, when and how to adjust their work styles and methods as well as how organisations recruit and retain diverse talent to gain the benefits of having a diverse workforce. Organisations also need to be more cognizant to distinction between leadership capabilities and global leadership capabilities. As a global leader, competencies such as cross-border collaboration, contextual intelligence and leading with ambiguity become increasingly important. It is worth noting that women leaders are in good stead to quickly demonstrate these competencies as they naturally display high levels of emotional intelligence and comfort with managing with complexity.

  1. Talent analytics will become a must have

Talent Analytics will be funded at an equal rate to CRM, ERP and other technology systems and will no longer be viewed as nice to have, but rather as a must have. The profound need to manage the most costly and important asset – people will rise to the top technology investment in the future. Strategic talent management will be essential across HR, Talent and Organisational Development as it will manage people across the spectrum. Talent analytics will become a necessity to attract, retain, develop, promote and to ensure the investment in human capital is and will increase organisational performance.

  1. Learning and leadership strategies will become standard

Established learning and leadership strategies will become standard and required along with a defendable business case to obtain funding and manage the global expansion and market complexities organisations are facing. A systematic rather than transactional relationship between the various functions in talent will be necessary to maximize the internal and external expertise and spend related to talent development and management. Formal business cases that are informed by workforce planning and these various strategies will be required by boards and C-level leaders to ensure a return on investment is obtained from the various people investment efforts demonstrated measurement performance improvement.

  1. The workplace becomes the Learning Lab

Using work to make the learning relevant by integrating the concepts and tools into work processes and showing employees the linkage to on the job reinforcement by leaders, individuals and in a collaborative manner will be necessary in the future. For example, you are leading a work team and you have gained insight on how to have a crucial conversation, delegate and hold others accountable. The training would have provided you tools and advice guides to prompt you to document and consider the application of those new skills during your next project meeting

  1. Shift in global leadership

Managing, leading and being global will no longer be limited to the ability to operate functions or regions globally, but rather about having talent at all levels of the organisation with the skills, knowledge, mindset and behaviours required to manage and lead a global organisation and workforce New capabilities and experiences will be required to create global leadership capabilities in the near future and will become another strategic imperative for many organisations in order for them to maintain competitive advantage and achieve desired growth and market entry objectives.

  1. Generation Z will start entering the workforce

Following the millennials, generation Z will start entering the workforce next year. This generation of workers is even more entrepreneurial and flexible in their approach to their career plans and they will chose opportunities for growth and work-life balance over salary. Similarly to millennials they will seek mentors and will be even more connected through technology. Research shows that third of them aspire to become managers in the next five years and almost half of them believes that working with the older generation will be challenging.

  1. Organisations will reinvent their performance management systems

To drive employee engagement and performance, organisations will need to rethink how they manage performance reviews to align business and individual objectives. Time consuming annual reviews and 360 degree feedback tools will be replaced by simpler and more transparent ways to manage people’s performance.

  1. Nine crucial leadership competencies everyone will need to have:
  • Storytelling
  • Crucial Conversations
  • High Performing Teams
  • Global Acumen
  • Change
  • Creating Accountability – establishing a high performance organisation
  • System Thinking
  • Strategic and Commercial Mindset
  • Innovation



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