CEOs focus more on growing talent but attach less importance to leadership development

The top challenges facing CEOs in 2013 are developing and engaging human capital, achieving operational excellence, and increasing innovation, according to the CEO Challenge 2013 report, published by the Conference Board today. The Chartered Management Institute was the UK partner for The Conference Board on the project.

 

The results of the survey shows that CEOs identify key strategies for tackling the human capital challenge including growing talent internally, providing employee training and development and raising employee engagement.  However, improving leadership development programmes, which was ranked second as a strategy in 2012, drops to tenth in the current survey.

 

Responding to the findings, CMI’s Director of Strategy and External Affairs, Petra Wilton, said:

 

“Faced by tough market conditions, it is encouraging to see that businesses focus more strongly on building their human capital. Businesses are right to grow the talents of their employees at all levels in the organization. However, the view of CEO’s that leadership development is a lower priority is of significant concern to CMI.

 

“There is a real risk that business leaders overlook one of the most critical aspects of the strategies they are trying to implement, which is the role of their managers. For example, the line manager relationship has been identified as the single most important factor in determining levels of employee engagement.

 

“What’s more, there is evidence that improving management and leadership can boost levels of business performance by as much as 23%*, which could make the difference between survival and failure in tough markets. Failing to see management development as a key strategy to develop and engage employees could be making a costly mistake.”

 

For many years, The Chartered Management Institute has warned that businesses will undermine one of the most powerful levers they have to meet these challenges if they neglect to improve their management and leadership capacity.

 

 

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NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The Chartered Management Institute was the UK partner to The Conference Board on theCEO Challenge 2013research. CMI surveyed a sample of its CEO-level members as part of the research, which was conducted between September and November 2012.
  • * Ghobadian et al, The Business Benefits of Management and Leadership Development, (2012), CMI. See www.managers.org.uk/business-benefits-management-and-leadership-development
  • The Conference Board CEO Challengeonline, www.ceochallenge.org, features the complete 2013 report and past reports, as well as a full program of supporting content including CEO interviews, a discussion forum, and related research such as the quarterly CEO Confidence Survey. Visit for a calendar of CEO Challenge briefings featuring The Conference Board thought leaders in cities worldwide, available for interested sponsors. 
  • About The Conference Board: The Conference Board is a global, independent business membershipand research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizationswith the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance andbetter serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org
  • CMI is the only chartered professional body dedicated to raising standards of management and leadership across all sectors of UK commerce and industry. CMI is the founder of the National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership and sets the standards that others follow
  • By setting minimum professional standards – built into our qualifications, membership criteria and learning resources – we recognise individual capability and give employers confidence in their managers’ performance
  • As a membership organisation, CMI has also been providing forward-thinking advice and support to individuals and businesses, for more than 50 years. As the only organisation to offer qualifications from Level 2 (GCSE) to Level 8 (PhD), CMI is committed to equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge to be exceptional managers and leaders
  • Qualifications and accreditations such as Chartered Manager, combined with products such as CMI’s Continuous Professional Development scheme and the online support resource, Management Know, support the development of management and leadership excellence across the UK
  • Through in-depth research and policy surveys of its 100,000 individual and 450 corporate members, CMI maintains its position as the premier authority on key management and leadership issues
  • The Conference Board CEO Challengeonline, www.ceochallenge.org, features the complete 2013 report and past reports, as well as a full program of supporting content including CEO interviews, a discussion forum, and related research such as the quarterly CEO Confidence Survey. Visit for a calendar of CEO Challenge briefings featuring The Conference Board thought leaders in cities worldwide, available for interested sponsors. 
  • About The Conference Board: The Conference Board is a global, independent business membershipand research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizationswith the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance andbetter serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org