Global Leadership Forecast Reveals 6 Key Trends Changing the Workplace

The biggest worry on executives’ minds around the world isn’t recession, global competition, or labor relations. It’s not even cyber-security.

New data shows that what’s keeping C-level executives up at night is their people strategies.

According to the Global Leadership Forecast 2018: 25 Research Insights to Fuel Your People Strategy, C-level executives rank developing “next gen” leaders and failure to attract and retain top talent as their biggest challenges in the coming years. In fact, only 14 percent of CEOs believe they have the leadership talent to execute their strategy.

The new, comprehensive study of some 25,000 business leaders was produced by the joint efforts of DDIThe Conference Board, and EY. The full GLF report delivers 25 deep insights about corporate leadership around the world. Among these insights, six key leadership trends emerged:

  1. Digital is reshaping the workforce
    The study revealed that organizations with digitally-savvy leaders are significantly outperforming the average. Aligned with the financial findings, the study found substantial differences in leaders’ skills at organizations considered “digital pioneers” compared with “digital laggards.”

  2. Data is creating a more inclusive, agile, and fair workplace
    Successful organizations continue to rely more heavily on big data to inform their business strategies, and their people strategies are no exception. Organizations are seeing how greater diversity in leadership positively affects the bottom line, and how diverse leadership capabilities better prepare organizations to handle disruption.

  3. A diverse, purpose-driven culture defines success
    Diversity plays a major role in building a successful workplace, which includes embracing gender diversity, leveraging diverse mindsets, and understanding the relationship between Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer leaders. The data showed that organizations with “cultural cornerstones” like a clearly communicated purpose, mentoring initiatives, and psychological safety programs outperform the market by 42 percent.
  4. DIY doesn’t work
    A “do it yourself” mentality leads to leadership failure. GLF data provided clear evidence that leaders are increasingly expected to work in shared leadership environments, and that leaders increasingly need to build relationships with mentors to find success.
  5. Finding new sources of leadership potential is crucial
    In the past, organizations have often had a narrow definition of the “type” of person who has leadership potential, and have invested their resources into developing a very small group of people who meet that criteria. The GLF, however, showed that organizations that take a broader view of leadership potential prove to be more financially successful, feature stronger top leaders and have more women in leadership.
  6. HR is losing its influence
    Over the past three years, HR’s reputation has gotten worse, with more leaders now believing that HR is simply a “reactor” that executes commands rather than an “anticipator” that develops a people strategy that enables the organization’s business strategy. One of the primary challenges is that HR is failing to develop digital skills on pace with technology advances, which undermines their ability and reputation to drive digital transformation across the workforce.

For the full list of insights and trends visit: