The Future poses many challenges to the evolving nature of Leadership. Following a successful launch of the groundbreaking Changing Nature of Leadership (CNL) research in 2003, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) commissioned a second study on the current field of leadership. The goal: To examine any shifts in thinking over the past four years and to collect data on emerging trends important to current and future leaders.
The data was compiled in April 2007 by surveying 1,131 people online. All of the respondents were either past participants of CCL programs or members of the online community, myCCL. Results indicate that respondents still believe the definition of leadership has changed over the past five years (76 percent) and the challenges they face are increasingly complex (91 percent). This study sheds light on the why and how behind these findings.
Complex Challenges are Resisting Solutions and Driving the Need for New Approaches
More than 40 percent of respondents noted that their organizations have been facing a complex challenge for two years or more, which shows the challenges are either resisting solutions or morphing into new challenges. Further, these challenges are affecting organizations by forcing leaders to create more innovative solutions and work more collaboratively.
- Talent and Talent Development is a Top Priority: When asked to describe the primary challenge their organization is facing, respondents placed talent acquisition/talent development at the top (17 percent). Additionally, 65 percent of respondents believe there will be a talent crisis in the next five years.
- To Be Effective in the Future, Leaders Will Need to Develop New Skills: Leaders have a clear view of what skills will be needed to provide effective leadership in the future. The survey shows that future leadership skills will focus on a number of key characteristics, the foremost being collaboration (49 percent). In addition, leadership change, building effective teams, and influence without authority ranked high in terms of leadership skills needed for the future.
- Collaboration Will Be Important in Sustaining High Performance: Not only was collaboration considered the top skill leaders must develop for the future, only 30 percent of respondents believed their leaders are skilled collaborators. Further, when we surveyed a smaller sample of senior leaders, 97 percent said that collaboration was essential to success.
- Rewarding Leaders in the Future Will Require a New Approach: When asked to compare their current reward systems with one that would be optimal, some important shifts occurred. First, most organizations currently reward their employees based almost entirely on making the numbers (33 percent) and individual performance (24 percent). While these two metrics for reward remained at the top of the optimal scenario, developing others, collaboration, and innovation rose significantly.
The CNL research project began in the fall of 2003 and explored trends in leadership development, business, and society. Using an Internet survey to collect data from a wide variety of global leaders, the 2007 analysis focuses on four main areas: Complex Organizational Challenges Analyzes the types of challenges facing today’s organizations to better understand their impact on leadership and work processes.
Future Leadership Approaches
Gains perspectives from leaders on the approaches that will be essential for success in the next five years.
Focuses on the trends that affect leadership and how organizations are reacting to these trends. Reward and Recognition Examines current methods of reward/recognition employed in organizations.
Download the entire study here: CCL (2007) – What´s next