Treating your leadership pipeline as a strategic asset

Companies are at more risk than ever before of becoming net exporters of effective leaders, for reasons ranging from unprecedented retention challenges to an inability to understand how to develop and retain the leaders they will need as those needs change faster than ever. 

At Heidrick & Struggles, we have seen that companies that treat their leadership pipeline as like any other strategic asset—aligning it with strategy, making it a priority for investment and action, and committing meaningful senior leadership time to it—are seeing lasting benefits. 

The following articles and interviews on leadership development and talent attraction and retention explore three main areas: 

  • How some companies are rethinking CEO, board, and executive succession planning to ensure their leadership pipeline can meet rising stakeholder standards for robustness and transparency 
  • How some companies are now treating leadership assessments not as one-off suggestions but as the foundations of enterprise-wide, strategy-driven approaches to leadership development and retention 
  • How quickly CEOs are reshaping their executive leadership teams to meet ongoing challenges and future succession needs in terms of skills, leadership capabilities, and diversity of perspective, and what that implies for leaders and leadership pipelines going forward
Leadership Development

Treating your leadership pipeline as a strategic asset: The seven functions of an executive leadership team

Eighteen leaders of oil and gas companies offer insights on how, after a period of significant disruption, their executive teams can refocus on the work only they can do. Their thoughts can offer perspective to peers in other sectors as well.

Developing future-ready leaders: From assessments to strategically aligned learning

More companies than ever are assessing their leaders’ capabilities and skills. But too few connect those assessments to powerful learning programs that can help individuals and strengthen companies’ leadership pipelines.

Leadership Insights
Fundamental changes in the labor force participation rate and in how, where, and why many executives choose to work put companies at risk of falling into an insidious, lasting leadership deficit. To stay ahead and avoid this deficit, companies need to pivot to retention. One important consequence of this change is that leaders must make developing the skills and capabilities of their current and potential leaders a strategic initiative just as important as any other.
Leadership development as a team sport
Building, leading, and participating in effective teams is a significant part of what differentiates the best leaders from the rest. Leadership development programs that invest in whole teams rather than individuals can give their companies an edge.
Future-ready leaders: When—and when not—to invest in coaching
Coaching can be a powerful part of leadership development, but most companies don’t have clear standards for its use. Three considerations for prioritizing coaching investments will improve results.
Future-ready leaders: How assessments are—and aren’t—used
Companies spend significant sums on leadership development and formal assessments of skills and capabilities, but our recent research finds inconsistent use of assessment and few links to career decisions.
Future-ready leaders: Executive perspectives on L&D programs today
Attracting, developing, and retaining leaders is a more pressing issue than ever, yet our recent research shows that leaders fundamentally disagree about the usefulness of executive leadership and development.
Future-ready leaders: Executive perspectives on where it’s going wrong
Our research shows that companies that want to give themselves the best chance of having the leaders they will need in the long term must pivot to retention.
Heidrick perspectives: The impact of digital on marketing and communications roles
Heidrick & Struggles’ leaders of the communications; marketing, sales & strategy; and digital officers practices sit down to discuss the blurring lines between their areas of expertise and how organizations should take on their search for talent.
Identifying, attracting, and retaining leaders for hyper-growth environments: An interview with Karishma Patel Buford, chief people officer at Spring Health
Spring Health’s chief people officer on combating burnout, the evolving role of the HR leader, and the leadership capabilities necessary for a hyper-growth business environment.
The new board metrics of success: Preparing for a board role
In this excerpt from a panel discussion hosted by Heidrick & Struggles at the most recent Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, women board members discuss their views on how to go about preparing for a board role.
FiscalNote’s CEO on DE&I, IPOs, and what he learned from political campaigns
Tim Hwang, the founder and CEO of FiscalNote, discusses how working on a political campaign is like a start-up and the importance of collaborative, communicative leadership.
Synchronizing leadership and culture for breakthrough success
Three tactics for developing inspiring leadership and thriving cultures, even while navigating crises and uncertainty.
Developing future-ready leaders
Organizations that rethink a few aspects of their executive development programs will have the best chance of developing leaders who will help them thrive now and deliver a sustainable and resilient future.
Future-ready leaders: Finding effective leaders who can grow with your company
Expectations for leaders are constantly evolving, perhaps faster than ever, but still the most effective leaders share a few fundamental capabilities. Too often, however, hiring processes focus on other strengths.
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