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How to use the GLF

Global Leadership Forecast 2018

Research-Driven Road Map for Leadership Acceleration

Global Leadership Forecast 2018 centers on 25 findings (listed in the Table of Contents on the facing page) about the state, context, and future of leadership. The findings are clustered into six categories:

  1. Leaders at the Core—leadership and talent are top agenda items for CEOs, and the readiness gaps continue to be significant.
  2. Digital & Data—how digital and data-rich business contexts accelerate the need to build the right capabilities to thrive.
  3. Growth & Potential—proven practices for aggressively developing leader talent and bench through a robust learning and growth engine.
  4. Leader Diversity—understanding and advancing gender and generational diversity in leaders to achieve the diversity dividend.
  5. Cultural Drivers—the powerful forces that can propel—or if lacking, will cripple—rapid, disruptive change.
  6. The HR Opportunity—how HR can elevate and extend its influence on business outcomes to deliver on this strategic agenda.

Each of the 25 findings shares a common format: We describe the context for the business issue, visualize the key data, describe the key leadership implications, and provide specific guidance for converting research evidence to recommended actions of two types:

Where to StartFirst, “Where to Start,” practical steps that organizations can take now to build, reinforce, or remedy their foundation for evidence-based leadership practices and systems, drawing on notable outcomes from the research. Typically, these are actions that many—but far from most—organizations have in place, but that are often overlooked as key building blocks on which more advanced elements of leadership strategy rely. That is, though they’re often common sense, they’re rarely common practice.

How to Excel + DifferentiateSecond, “How to Excel + Differentiate.” The research’s wide-reaching scope includes hundreds of organizations that are prototypes for rapid advancement toward one or more challenging leadership and business objectives: digital transformation, gender diversity, high-potential management, people analytics, and instilling a sense of purpose, among many others. This section of each finding shows how organizations can draw on proven, high-impact leadership practices to gain a sustained competitive advantage by harnessing their leaders’ potential at all levels and from all backgrounds.

Integrative summariesAfter the 25 findings, which are designed to be modular and self-contained so that they can be used individually, we close Global Leadership Forecast 2018 with two integrative summaries:

  • First, an integrated view of six leadership megatrends—core, overarching themes that we found emerging again and again across the findings—that collectively chart a course for the trajectory of leadership and serve as broad guiding principles for leadership-directed action.
  • Second, a leadership practices scoreboard showing the “in-place” frequency of 34 leadership practices and the links from each to three critical outcomes: Leadership Program Quality (in the eyes of the leaders/learners who are the “customers” for these programs), Leadership Bench Strength (supply of ready-now leaders to fill critical roles over the next three years), and Financial Outcomes (an externally gathered composite of operating margin, EBITDA, revenue growth, and return on equity).
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