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4 Key Practices for Developing Global Leaders

4 Key Practices for Developing Global Leaders

Mark Vickers | i4cp

June 18, 2010

But there are many other levels at which executives can become involved. At Boston Scientific, for example, the executive team is not only engaged in shaping the competencies covered by its global leadership development program but in the evaluation, selection and development of program participants. Members of the executive committee also engage in mentoring and coaching, and they sometimes teach other elements of the program as well, recounting their own experiences in managing change and driving success.

A third key finding of the study is that metrics matter. There are strong statistical relationships between the degree to which companies evaluate these programs and their reported success. Especially interesting is the fact that “the amount of learning achieved from the initiative” is the one metric significantly correlated with market performance and has the highest correlation with global leadership development program success. Companies should use this metric even as they examine other metrics such as business results and behavioral changes.

Boston Scientific covers basic metrics such as number of courses and participants, but it also looks at what Van Parys calls the “ultimate outcome” of bench-strength readiness. This refers to the number of high performing managers who are prepared to move into senior leadership roles. Between 2008 and 2009, the Boston Scientific program was able to move the mark from 20% to 42%.

A fourth key finding is that, while most respondents say their organizations use outside vendors or other external experts to help in the creation or implementation of their global leadership programs, they might not be using the best selection criteria. We found that organizations are most commonly looking for subject matter experts as well as a proven track record demonstrating an ability to execute. Less popular expectations for outside suppliers are the ability to handle multiple language requirements and wide geographic representation. Our study found, however, that the ability to handle multiple language requirements is actually well correlated with the global leadership development success index, and using vendors based on their ability to represent each geographic region was the only variable associated with significant improvements in both market performance and global leadership development success.

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