In the past, companies maintain their office machines better than their employees. Today, however, the most forward-looking corporations are all into leadership development.
This shift in perspective on people had actually been triggered by the long-term shift itself of the world economy. From a total dependence on financial capital, economies all over are now dependent on human capital.
In the midst of economic upswings and downswings, companies have realized that money for investment is abundant than ever before. Even in the middle of the present economic crunch, money had been deposed as the number one scarce resource in business.
Human talent, however, is now the scarcer commodity. As the CEO of a top recruiting company says, “Organizations need talented people a lot more than talented people need organizations.”
Companies of a feather
There is now a growing trend of companies who developed their people with opportunities to learn and grow to become higher-performing organizations. A closer look at these companies reveals a striking resemblance of their practices.
Operating all kinds of businesses and based from all over the world, these organizations share similar traits in creating leadership development programs.
Time and money investment
To cut to the chase, running leadership development programs is expensive – both in money and time. CEOs, however, think that this is “the single best investment” they make in their company.
Many companies claim they are all interested in developing leaders. Today, most of the companies evaluate their own executives partly on how they develop people.
Promising leaders’ early identification
Spotting promising leaders early on can result in their earlier development. Some companies who have internship programs use the time the interns spend with them to evaluate their potentials.
Companies who nurture their future leaders early on believe that they have a competitive edge. Their talent reserves become bigger and better than the others.
Strategic assignment choices
In a typical leadership development process, two-thirds of the candidates come from job experience, one-third from mentoring and coaching and a smattering come straight from classrooms.
Mixing job assignments are tough, even if they looked okay at first. Organizations tend to assign people based on what they are good at, and not on what they need to work on. Managers had consistently reported that their hardest experiences were the most helpful in the end.
Developing leaders on the job
There is tension among the CEOs who want to develop their people by moving them about and in their need to develop them in their expertise in certain areas.
Other companies solve it by leaving their leaders in their exact productive places and having them rotated in other jobs through short-term work assignments. They do not leave their present positions but they can take on short additional assignments.
Feedback and support
In learning, if you do not know how you have performed, chances are you will not learn at all and you will not care later. In many companies, feedback is very rare.
Many successful CEOs declared that frequent and honest assessment with plenty of mentoring and support has propelled them to the top.
All in all, companies now view leadership development as a real investment venture, albeit in human forms rather than in cold forms of machines made of metal.