Training Managers Say UK Lacks Effective Leaders

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Two-thirds of UK organisations are suffering from a shortage of highly effective leaders, according to the 2005 Training and Development Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The survey of 664 training managers working in UK organisations found that in response to this leadership deficit, 85% of UK organisations are now investing in some form of leadership development activity.

The CIPD says that the widespread use of leadership development activities is unsurprising in the light of perception of their value. Ninety-eight per cent of respondents think that well designed leadership development activities can have a positive impact on the bottom line and 91% believe that there is a direct link between investment in leadership development and organisational performance.

According to the learning, training and development professionals surveyed, the main drivers for investing in leadership development are to successfully manage organisational change, to ensure that the forward business strategy can be delivered as well as to fill internal skills gaps.

Separate research from the CIPD shows that organisations undergo some form of major organisational change every three years, but that four in ten such reorganisations fail to achieve their objectives.

Jessica Jarvis, CIPD adviser on learning, training and development, said: "This leadership deficit could undermine the ability of UK organisations to adapt to change and achieve their business strategies. Although many organisations are investing in leadership development, it appears that many leaders lack the skills to successfully lead and manage organisations during times of change.

"Despite the importance of these activities, training professionals still face considerable challenges in delivering leadership development. Arguments continue to rage about the most effective solutions and almost half of respondents report that it isn't an essential business activity (47%).

"Other significant barriers are a lack of support from senior managers (40%) and problems proving the direct impact of activities on business performance (38%). Trainers still have a lot of work to do in convincing senior management of the benefits of leadership development."

* For further news from the CIPD's 2005 Training and Development Survey click here.

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