Building and Nurturing Future-Fit Leaders Across Your Organization

As the digital economy transforms business, leadership, too, is fast evolving. Today, organizations expect and need individuals at every level to be leaders. And the stakes are high: There are significant costs associated with poor leadership. Yet, most companies are lacking the leadership they believe they require. In a 2019 survey, 80 percent of respondents rated leadership as a high priority, but only 41 percent believed their companies were ready to fulfill their leadership requirements.

When an organization builds and nurtures great leadership at every level, the potential upside is hard to ignore. The workforce is more engaged and more productive, reputations improve, customers become loyal advocates, and often there is a direct correlation to the bottom line. In fact, organizations with the strongest digital leadership capabilities outperform those with the weakest capabilities by 50 percent.

But today’s challenges and opportunities require a new generation of leaders who are agile, resilient, and digitally fluent. It isn’t enough to ensure that leaders know what needs to be done. They must also have confidence in their abilities to effect change. Building that ability is key, and one-to-one coaching is one of the most effective ways to do that.

A powerful and enabling tool, coaching is often reserved for a select few—the senior leaders and C-suite executives rather than first-time managers or emerging leaders. This mindset is starting to change as leaders understand the importance of scaling coaching company wide. In fact, the International Coaching Federation estimates that the number of leadership coach practitioners increased by 33 percent globally between 2015 and 2019, with the number of leaders using coaches rising by 46 percent.

The Importance of a Coaching Solution

To build the next generation of leaders, organizations need to accelerate professional growth through personalized introspective coaching, assessments, and action plans designed to drive behavioral change. The best way to do this is through a coaching solution that expands leadership capabilities across the business.

Data from recent studies further supports this need for a powerful coaching solution:

  • Seventy-two percent of organizations point to an absence of coaching as a reason leaders lack critical leadership competencies. (Source: Brandon Hall Group, Improving Leadership Development in the Post-COVID Era, 2020)

Meanwhile, there’s a measurable difference between digital-ready leaders and those who are not. Highly capable digital-ready leaders are more likely (89 percent versus 58 percent) to take on stretch assignments to build new skills and more likely (67 percent versus 34 percent) to provide input to grow the business.

None of this is surprising. The digital economy has already transformed the way we work. Organizations are flatter, and individuals take on new—often self-directed—responsibilities at every level. As a result, many companies are experiencing a leadership gap and the negative outcomes associated with it.

The dilemma is twofold. New leaders lack the experience they need, while many established leaders require a new set of skills to be effective in a fast-changing business environment.

The best leaders will be those who have both knowledge and ability to demonstrate leadership, who are comfortable thinking digital-first, and who can pivot quickly, leading their teams and organizations into the future.

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