Change outpaces management

New kind of leadership needed to compete globally
||Last Updated: 07/21/2003

Even Canadian executives admit that most of them can’t keep up with change. Only two per cent rate their companies’ capacity to provide the leadership needed to implement major change as “excellent.” That figure is down from five per cent two years ago.

These results appear in a new report released by The Conference Board of Canada entitled

Leadership for Tomorrow: Playing Catch-up with Change


The report concludes that, in order to compete in the global marketplace, Canadian executives will first have to admit they can’t do it all. According to the report, the rate of change is too fast for top corporate levels to handle on their own. Leadership needs to be distributed throughout the organization, with each employee allowed to lead within his or her sphere of influence.

Statistics in the report indicate that some organizations have already reached this conclusion and are taking steps to develop leadership capacity in their workforces. Training programs and strategic work assignments are “highly effective” in achieving this goal, according to 25 per cent and 36 per cent of executives, respectively.

In conducting its research, the Conference Board surveyed executives in major Canadian companies, interviewed 15 highly respected CEOs and conducted in-depth interviews with three companies that have taken a new approach to leadership development: Dofasco Limited, Syncrude Canada Limited and Clarica Life Assurance Limited.

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