Leadership key for top companies

by 03 Oct 2007

THE WORLD’S top companies for leaders demonstrate a strong investment in building a leadership brand that sets them apart, according to Dave Ulrich, partner and founder of The RBL Group, and a professor of business at the Ross School of Business.

Speaking on the launch of the 2007 list of Global Top Companies for Leaders, Ulrich said these companies have strong reputations for developing exceptional leaders, often fulfilling both customer and investor expectations.

General Electric, Procter & Gamble and Nokia Corporation head the list, which was sponsored by Hewitt Associates, in partnership with The RBL Group and FORTUNE magazine.

“In this increasingly complex and global marketplace, companies must leverage talent and build leadership practices that have consistency throughout the world if they want to be successful,” said Bob Gandossy, principal and a global practice leader in Hewitt’s Consulting business.

Hewitt identified five key areas that set the global top companies apart from other companies around the world.

Firstly, such companies demonstrated a strategic business commitment to developing leaders. The majority (85 per cent) ensure that the selection and development of leaders is aligned with their business strategies, compared with only a third (32 per cent) of all other companies.

The top companies also have a senior-level commitment to developing leaders. Eighty-five per cent of senior management spend at least 20 per cent of their time on leadership development initiatives, compared with only half (52 per cent) of all other companies.

There is also a clear expectation of desired leadership behaviours. Most (85 per cent) believe that the desired leadership behaviours are well-understood at all levels of the organisation, compared with just 37 per cent of other companies.

Top companies also focus on growth and globalisation. Nearly 70 per cent cited business growth as the single most pressing challenge over the next three to five years, compared with approximately half (51 per cent) of all other companies.

The final distinguishing factor is a dedication to developing a global talent pipeline. The majority of top companies (85 per cent) believe that they currently have the talent pipeline they need to be successful in the future, compared with only 42 per cent of all other companies.


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