What are the skills, abilities and values we want to see in future leaders?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering this year as I’ve been coaching some potential future leaders from another country.
It’s a question strong businesses regularly address. They don’t just ask the question but identify the competencies they want to see - and those employees that have high potential to grow and perform. Those future leaders are developed in ways that enhance the desired competencies and qualities. It’s called Talent Management and gives companies an edge in competing for the best and the brightest.
Cultural skills are often seen as important for those future leaders. Globalisation requires successful business leaders understand the markets, are familiar with both the opportunities and challenges in different regions of the world and are able to relate with people wherever they may be. That’s cultural intelligence –the ability to operate effectively in situations of diversity.
The drive for culturally intelligent employees is increasing with demand outstripping supply. Numerous research reports consistently echo the need for team members and leaders to be skilled at working in situations of diversity. Links have been repeatedly demonstrated between higher profits and diverse teams.
One of the ways for employees to develop such skills is to work outside their home country. In a place where they are the minority and their ways of working may be challenged the opportunities for growth and development in a future leader can be great.
As discussed at a recent Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) meeting in Sydney, the search for and management of talent is increasingly located at a global level. Talent Management teams work alongside Global Mobility to provide opportunities for career growth in what has become known as Talent Mobility Programs. Panel members from Optus, Deloitte and Concur spoke about their programs and the successes and challnges.
Driven by the organisational requirement to develop global competencies in its people, Talent Mobility have a number of tensions to work within.
The labeling of high potential future leaders does not necessarily correlate with an automatic eagerness to relocate.