The training firm Development Dimensions International (DDI) has just released their Global Leadership Forecast 2011. It’s billed as “the biggest study of its kind, involving over 2,600 organizations in 74 countries. Nearly 1,900 HR professionals and 12,500 leaders participated.” This is the sixth biannual forecast they’ve completed since 1999.

Leadership Revolution - Jim Clemmer, The Practical LeaderThe forecast conclusions are very useful for HR and executives concerned with developing leadership skills across their organization. The report is also a good resource for anyone in a management role looking to assess and further develop their own leadership skills.


Here are some key findings:

  • Only 30% of leaders and 25% of HR respondents rated the quality of leadership in their organizations as very good or excellent.
  • The five most critical skills for leaders are (in rank order):
    1. Driving and managing change.
    2. Identifying and developing future talent.
    3. Fostering creativity and innovation.
    4. Coaching and developing others.
    5. Executing organizational strategy.

“About half of leaders rated themselves as ineffective in the five most critical skills.”

  • The three most frequent leadership development methods (numbers in brackets are percent of organization using this method, followed by percent rating that method as effective):
    1. Formal workshops, courses, and seminars (81/73).
    2. Coaching from managers (68/63).
    3. Special projects or assignments (68/66).
  • In a section entitled “The role of management is still in yesteryear mode,” author and professor Gary Hamel partnered with DDI to identify which of the following disablers were most prominent. Gary is quoted from his new book, The Future of Management: “Right now, your company has 21st century, internet-enabled business processes, mid-20th century management processes, all built atop 19th century management principles.”

The report identified the top “Management Culture Killers (in rank order)”:

    1. Strategic and key business decisions are made mostly by those in positions of power, with very few opportunities for open discussion.
    2. Organizational structure is siloed, rigid, and hierarchal.
    3. Our management processes (e.g. strategic planning) are highly bureaucratic and often a nuisance.
    4. Senior leaders are the primary visionaries and creators.
    5. We almost exclusively focus on top/bottom line growth.
    6. Power and influence are held by those who value the status quo.
  • In the bottom third versus top third performing companies retention is 24% versus 70%, employee engagement is 9% versus 50%, and passion to lead is 7% versus 53%!


Most organizations looking to survive — and certainly to thrive — in our turbulent times really do need a leadership revolution! This report provides insights on the sweeping culture and leadership changes needed.


To read an executive summary or download the full report go to Global Leadership Forecast 2011: Time for a Leadership Revolution! and click on the “Global Report” tab.