INBOX : Where are the leaders?

New Zealand businesses are struggling to find and nurture effective future leaders, despite increasingly investing in leadership development, says new study.
The IBM Working Beyond Borders Study of senior human resources staff also found only one in four New Zealand and Australian executives believed their organisations excelled in leadership development.
And many companies are considering more use of outsourcing, part-timers and even bringing back retired staff to increase staff flexibility.
The study of 61 countries worldwide, including 31 respondents from New Zealand, concluded that organisations recognise the need for effective future leadership and are working to close the gap.
It found that even during the height of the global recession, surprising 45 percent of New Zealand companies surveyed still increased their investment in leadership development. But only quarter considered their organisations adept at developing future leaders.
New Zealand leader of the study, Ross Pearce, says: “Organisations are struggling to find and nurture effective future leaders in Australia and New Zealand, and this is largely due to the fact that many of our organisations lack the infrastructure, such as common skills taxonomy and workforce analytics, to make fact-based decisions regarding workforce allocation.
“With lack of insight into what skills and capabilities they have at their disposal, organisations can make poor and often reactionary decisions.”
One of the participants was Wayne Peat, group HR director for Telecom. “Since June 2009, we have invested significantly in leadership development as critical enabler to help align our business and people transformation programme.
“We challenged ourselves to find new and dynamic ways to nurture and build effective leaders and are now implementing robust programme dedicated to ensuring consistent, competency-based leadership for all our people.”
The study revealed that 11 percent of organisations in Australia and New Zealand plan to increase their headcount to drive operational efficiency. Over the next three years, over half of chief human resources officers in Australia and New Zealand plan to increase outsourcing, the use of part-time workers – and some even plan to bring back retired employees to inject greater flexibility into their workforces.
For the full study report, see
www.ibm.com/chrostudy.

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