Top management failing to back global leader programs: Survey

Budget, time also obstacles for developing programs
||Last Updated: 11/16/2011

Lack of senior-level support has emerged as the main obstacle impeding the implementation of global leadership development programs, according to an online survey of almost 400 senior managers and executives in the Unites States by AMA Enterprise.

“While program complexity and cultural differences were noted by some survey respondents, most cited a lack of executive support, which is problematic now that nearly all best-in-class organizations today need their leaders to think and act globally,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice-president at AMA Enterpris.

Cost and budget came in as the second biggest obstacle encountered in implementing global leadership programs at 26 per cent, followed by time at 15 per cent.

According to Edwards, success increasingly means operating in a marketplace that is global no matter where the organization is headquartered.

“Senior management is now pressed to find ways to improve performance and to do so with consistency and effectiveness across the globe. And this means that up-and-coming corporate leaders need to have a broader skill set, one that equips them to understand different cultures and deal with ambiguity.”

Organizations experiencing the greatest success with their global leadership initiatives tend to be those whose senior management is involved in the actual implementation of such programs, said Edwards.

“Such commitment by the top management team is the most important factor according to survey participants, yet 49 per cent reported that their senior leaders aren’t involved at all. Top management may also provide support by communicating about the program and by establishing its business results.”

One-half of the survey respondents reported that their programs had to be customized to a significant extent.

“The global core competencies are certainly generally understood,” said Edwards. “But there are different regional leadership styles as well as cultural dimensions that have to be taken into account, so customization is common.”

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