Businesses do not have required leadership and are not developing them says Korn Ferry.

Not prepared.

A survey from Korn Ferry has found that the majority of HR professionals don’t believe they have the right people to lead their organisations into the future. Not only that but nearly half admit they don’t have programmes to identify and develop high-potential talent within their organisation.

Only 29 per cent of survey respondents say they are confident their organisation has the right people to guide the company into the future. And while nearly half (48 per cent) say they would prefer to promote people from within the organisation, 45 per cent say they do not have programmes in place to help them identify and develop high-potential talent.

The good news is that the vast majority (91 per cent) of leaders do see the benefit of creating high-potential programmes, and 82 per cent say that compared to five years ago, their organisations are placing greater emphasis on establishing ways to identify and prepare the leaders of the future.

Of those who do have high-potential programmes, more than a third (38 per cent) say participants are chosen based on nominations by a line manager or internal champion. Five per cent say anyone can participate in the programme through self-nomination.

“Our survey shows that only 14 per cent of HR professionals are very confident that their organisations have selected the right people for their high-potential programmes,” said Lisa Niesen, Korn Ferry vice president and general manager, Assessment. “It’s critical to take a look at the business strategy and the type of talent that will be needed to achieve goals, then properly and scientifically assess which people have the potential to grow and guide the company into the future.”

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents say their organisations would benefit from a consistent, science-based approach to identifying potential.

The survey also found that HR leaders think most programmes are too top heavy, with 66 per cent saying they are not looking deep enough in the organisation to identify those with potential. Only 10 per cent say their programmes include entry-level/graduate talent.

“Your future CEO could be sitting in that small cube doing entry-level work,” said Niesen. “If you don’t identify this future leader early on and help develop their talents, you can rest assured that they’ll leave and one day be leading another company, not yours.”

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