The keys to leadership success

The global management consulting firm’s study ranks the Top 20 companies for leadership around the globe and examines how those companies develop current and future leaders. In the latest study, General Electric topped the list, followed by Procter & Gamble, Intel Corporation, Siemens and Banco Santander.

According to Hay Group’s study, all of the Top 20 companies report that everyone at every level of the organisation has the opportunity to develop and practise the capabilities needed to lead others, compared to less than 70 percent of all other companies in the study. In addition, 90 percent of the Top 20 companies report that people are expected to lead regardless of whether they have formal position of authority, compared to only 59 percent of other companies.

Gill Hopkins, head of Hay Group New Zealand’s Leadership and Talent Practice, says the top 20 companies in the study are at the forefront of significant shift away from hierarchical organisational operating models. “Leadership in the 21st century is about leading at all levels; not restricting it to title. As organisations become flatter, the best leaders are learning they must check their egos and become increasingly sensitive to diversity, generational and geographical issues.”

Hay Group’s study also found that the shift in organisational culture away from top-down leadership extends beyond HQ. All of the Top 20 companies encourage local leaders to participate in decisions made at head office, compared to 72% of all other companies.

“This year’s Top 20 is group of companies that are moving quickly to improve their efficiency and competitive positioning by flattening their business structures and diversifying their workforces,” says Hopkins. “They are adapting development tools and reward structures to equip managers with the changing global leadership skills the business environment demands, and incentivising leaders to use these capabilities effectively.”

Hay Group has researched the Best Companies for Leadership since 2005. The latest survey included responses from 3,769 individuals and 1,827 organisations from 96 countries worldwide.



Innovation is formally sought and disseminated through the organisation

Top 20

All other companies

My company has global steering committee that harvests local best practices and sets HR policies

90 percent

60 percent

Best practices for leadership development are collected from subsidiaries and then shared across this organisation

90 percent

56 percent

Diversity is valued as business asset

Top 20

All other companies

My company actively recruits cultural minorities

90 percent

48 percent

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