Canadian Organization Recognized for Leadership Practices in Global Study



    The Business Development Bank of Canada Only Canadian Employer Named to
    Top Companies for Leaders List

    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - One Canadian organization, the Business
Development Bank of Canada (BDC), has been singled out for its innovative
leadership programs in the 2007 Top Companies for Leaders study. Esteemed
independent judging panels selected and ranked the global list of the Top
Companies for Leaders, as well as regional lists for North America, Europe,
Asia-Pacific and Latin America. BDC was recognized on the North American list
as one of the Top Companies for Leaders in the small/medium-sized company
category.
    More than 560 companies from around the world, including 26 from Canada,
were evaluated on criteria that included leadership practices, company
reputation, leadership culture and values, and business performance. The Top
Companies for Leaders study is sponsored by global human resources services
company Hewitt Associates, in partnership with The RBL Group, a firm dedicated
to helping clients increase quality of leadership and deliver the strategic HR
agenda, and FORTUNE magazine.

    The Top Companies Difference

    In its analysis of the practices of the Top Companies for Leaders, Hewitt
found one overarching characteristic that set them apart from the rest. The
Top Companies for Leaders make leadership a critical part of the company's
organizational fabric. Specifically, the study found that leadership practices
at these organizations are an inherent part of the culture, and that
developing future leaders is simply a way of operating that must be
intertwined with running the business.
    "We're delighted that a Canadian organization has achieved this honour
alongside global companies like General Electric, Procter & Gamble and Nokia,"
said Manny Campione, a senior consultant in Hewitt's Toronto office. "However,
we are not surprised that BDC has been singled out. Leaders at BDC believe in
the organization's mission and its people. They model behaviours that
personify BDC's values. They welcome and encourage input, are actively
involved in leadership development, and are held accountable for their
leadership ability."

    BDC's Winning Ways

    Key leadership practices that set BDC apart from other study participants
include the following:

    
    -  Walking the talk. Leaders take an active part in the implementation of
       all people processes. They communicate frequently and consistently
       about business priorities, results and special initiatives. Leaders'
       performance plans are based on behaviours that exhibit corporate
       values. Leadership ability accounts for 30 per cent of every leader's
       annual performance rating.

    -  Bottom-up approach to succession planning. All BDC employees are
       included in the talent review process. They identify their desired
       career paths and are evaluated by managers as to their suitability for
       future roles. Every single employee is discussed and an action plan is
       developed for most. These plans are developed in partnership with
       employees so they understand their future prospects at BDC and what it
       takes to achieve them.

    -  A learning organization. All new operational employees are assigned a
       coach to help them learn their job and understand company values. All
       employees have access to BDC's learning management system. The number
       of training days BDC offers to employees at all levels, especially
       leaders, is above average. In addition, 4.5 per cent of the total
       corporate budget is devoted to training, as compared with the 2.7 per
       cent average reported by the Canadian Council on Learning.

    -  CEO and Board involvement in leadership development. The CEO is
       personally involved in the launch of all development activities and at
       all new hire onboarding sessions. BDC's board of directors reviews the
       talent pool for senior leaders every year. Board meetings are held
       across the country so that members can get to know identified
       employees. A significant investment is made in identifying potential
       leaders and ensuring that all leaders are prepared for their next
       role.
    

    "At BDC, our objective is always to add value for our clients," said
Jean-René Halde, President and Chief Executive Officer of BDC. "It is
therefore critical for us to invest in leading-edge programs that attract,
develop and retain the best leaders for our organization. The end result is
that our customers, employees and business all benefit."
    Mr. Halde attributes the company's leadership practices as one reason for
BDC's success. The company has experienced 50 per cent revenue growth in the
last five years. The engagement score of its senior leadership - their level
of commitment to the organization - is 98 per cent. "We believe we have
implemented the right practices for developing the right people that BDC needs
to grow and succeed," said Mr. Halde. "We appreciate the fact that others
agree and that BDC has been recognized amongst the top companies for leaders."
    Hewitt, The RBL Group and FORTUNE utilized a three-step screening process
to identify finalist companies. This included assessing survey responses,
conducting in-depth interviews and analyzing financial performance in relation
to industry. This information was then provided to a panel of expert judges in
each region to select and rank a 2007 Top Companies for Leaders list in North
America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. A separate judging panel,
composed of one representative from each regional panel, considered all
regional Top Companies to select and rank a Global Top Companies for Leaders
list. For the full list of the 2007 Top Companies for Leaders, please see the
October issue of FORTUNE magazine or visit www.fortune.com.

    About the Business Development Bank of Canada

    BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada.
BDC actively supports the development and growth of Canadian small and
medium-sized businesses through its complementary financial, investment and
consulting solutions. BDC is one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2007.

    About The RBL Group

    The RBL Group specializes in helping clients deliver a strong leadership
brand and a strategic HR agenda. Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood, the firm's
co-founders, have just written a book, Leadership Brand (HBSP, September
2007), which discusses criteria important to the Top Companies for Leaders
study. The RBL Group delivers results-oriented, quality solutions by engaging
people and processes that help HR and line executives integrate the latest
thinking into their organizations through practical tools and approaches. For
more information please visit www.rbl.net, e-mail rblmail@rbl.net, or call
(801) 373-4238.

    About Hewitt Associates

    With more than 65 years of experience, Hewitt Associates (NYSE:   HEW) is
the world's foremost provider of human resources outsourcing and consulting
services. The company consults with more than 2,300 organizations and
administers human resources, health care, payroll and retirement programs on
behalf of more than 340 companies to millions of employees and retirees
worldwide. Located in 35 countries, including Canadian offices in Toronto,
Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Regina, Hewitt employs approximately 24,000
associates. For more information, please visit www.hewitt.com.




For further information:

For further information: Marcia McDougall, Hewitt Associates, (416)
225-5001, marcia.mcdougall@hewitt.com; Denise Arab, Business Development Bank
of Canada, (514) 283-3054, denise.arab@bdc.ca

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