Organizational leadership in Canada still needs improvement

OTTAWA, Jan. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - Improving organizational leadership and building leadership capacity have become strategic priorities among Canadian organizations. Prior research by the Conference Board of Canada in 1999 and 2001 identified a "confidence lag" in organizational leadership in Canada. More than a decade and a half later, Canadian organizations still find themselves struggling to bridge the leadership gap, according to new Conference Board research.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Strong and effective leadership positively impacts organizational performance and work cultures.
  • Developing top talent and building leadership capacity have become strategic priorities for Canadian organizations given the gaps.
  • 37 per cent of survey respondents said their organizational leaders were highly effective compared to 29 per cent of respondents in 2001.
  • 31 per cent felt their organizations were highly effective at building leadership capacity, up slightly from the 2001 survey at 26 per cent.
  • Only 14 per cent of respondents said their organization's leadership capacity to implement major change was excellent.

The report, Leadership Outlook: Leadership Driving Organizational Performance, reveals that 37 per cent of survey respondents rated their organizational leaders as being highly effective compared to 29 per cent of respondents in 2001. Similarly, 31 per cent viewed their organization to be highly effective at building leadership capacity, up marginally from 26 per cent in 2001.

When asked to rate their organization's leadership's ability to implement major change, only 14 per cent of respondents said theirs was excellent. This is particularly concerning as a high level of organizational preparedness with strong and capable leadership at the helm is required for organizations to anticipate and respond to the changing business and economic environment.

"The quality and effectiveness of leadership can have a profound impact on work cultures and organizational performance at all levels," said Donna Burnett Vachon, Associate Director, Leadership and Human Resources Research. "While, Canadian organizations have made progress in improving their leadership capacity since our last study in 2001, there is still much work to be done."

The Conference Board of Canada's Leadership Performance Index (or LDPI) uses five areas to measures an organization's leadership capability and capacity. These include alignment and culture, capacity for change and innovation, trust and relationship building, personal and professional development, and the identification and development of top talent.

High leadership performing organizations are 30 times more likely to excel in areas such as change readiness, employee engagement, and customer orientation. High LDPI organizations also demonstrate a strong focus on innovation and an emphasis on identifying and developing high potential employees.

The Leadership Outlook: Leadership Driving Organizational Performance explores the relationship between organizational leadership and organizational performance. 

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; or Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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