The Deloitte Business Confidence Report 2016 shows that corporate executives are uncertain about whether their companies will have the talent and skills needed to make them successful in the future. This uncertainly is partly due to corporate executives’ lack of commitment to those very areas.
Piled onto executive concerns about the barriers that inhibit innovation and the lack of bold leadership needed in today’s climate, are concerns about the skills gap, the turnover rate for talented managers, and the tenuous state of the leadership pipeline.
The study shows that a majority of corporate executives and upcoming corporate executives believe rapid and continuous changes are creating the skills gap, and only about half think their organizations are adequately addressing it. When it comes to why superstar managers leave companies before they reach critical leadership roles, 52 percent of C-suite executives and 57 percent of C-suite executives in waiting attribute the managers’ departure to a desire to work with a more innovative company. Further, more than 50 percent of each group links these important talent departures to a desire to work with more advanced technologies.
The report found that although business leaders know that their companies need to achieve more innovation-focused growth, their strategic response suggests otherwise. Respondents rank innovation as a top driver for business confidence, but the report found much of their focus was on areas unrelated to innovation barriers. Company products and services topped the list of top priorities for innovation strategy for 51 percent of C-suite executives and 54 percent C-suite executives in waiting. Another area of emphasis for both groups was customer. On the other hand, only about 27 percent of C-suite executives and 29 percent of C-suite executives in waiting listed company talent and staff as a high priority for innovation strategy.
Executives will have to turn their focus — and their investments — toward talent if they want to drive innovation and future success. By making focused investments in learning and development strategy that are aligned with business goals, companies can address the skills gap that keeps executive leaders up at night, build a pathway for greater innovation, and strengthen the pipeline for tomorrow’s leaders.
Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. Comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.