Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Biennial Survey of Leading Corporations Reveals Most Important Leadership Capability

Leaders from some of the world’s best known large and medium-sized organizations across the globe participated in the biennial survey, which has been conducted by EDA every two years to four years since 1983.

Oklahoma City, OK, January 22, 2014 - For today’s executives, the ability to develop a successful business strategy is no longer enough. In our complex business environment, the most successful organizations will be the ones with leaders who can create a compelling vision—and who can convey that vision to customers and employees. These skills have, for the first time in recent years, surpassed critical thinking in importance, but there is a problem, says Bonnie Hagemann, CEO of Executive Development Associates.

This new reality was reflected in the key findings of “2014 Trends in Executive Development: A Benchmark Report.” A wide range of executives and human resource leaders, including presidents, senior vice presidents, chief learning officers, and heads of executive and leadership development, reported that the ability to create a vision— and convey it to others—is now the single most important capability needed in the emerging generation of leaders.

The “2014 Trends in Executive Development: A Benchmark Report” is the product of collaboration between Pearson TalentLens and Executive Development Associates Inc. (EDA), a global leadership consulting firm that specializes in executive assessment, development, and coaching.

Leaders from some of the world’s best known large and medium-sized organizations across the globe participated in the biennial survey, which has been conducted by EDA every two years to four years since 1983 in order to follow the trends, growth and evolution of executive development in corporate environments. The complete report can be purchased at http://www.executivedevelopment.com.

“The HR leaders in the study reported that the ability to create a vision is the one most lacking in the next generation of leadership talent, followed by the lack of critical-thinking skills. Clearly, they are worried about the ability of the new generation to step up into top positions,” says Hagemann.

She notes that once leaders create a vision and have used their critical-thinking skills to develop the appropriate business strategy, they must bring others into the program.

“This requires the ability to convey the vision to others—to get employees and customers just as excited about the new direction and opportunities. And it requires the ability to engage employees at all levels in the underlying business strategy. Vision without strategy will not get far. And neither will move forward without engagement,” says Hagemann.

The report indicates that there are several reasons why creating a vision and conveying it to others has surpassed critical thinking as the capability most critical to success and yet most lacking in the next generation of leadership talent.

“During the recession, companies needed to focus on cutting costs and increasing revenue in an increasingly competitive global business environment. As the economy improves, companies are focusing less on cutting costs and more on expanding production and opening new markets, products and services, all of which require an inspired and engaged workforce,” says Hagemann.

And there may be another disconnect, according to the report. While the HR leaders in the study said their top priority in the next two to three years is developing capabilities needed to achieve vision and execute strategy, they still tend to focus developmental efforts in other areas.

“The two developmental activities their next generation of leaders are most likely to participate in, they said, are developmental job assignments and action learning. However, those types of activities alone are rarely enough to give emerging leaders the ability to create and carry out a larger vision,” says Hagemann.

While these types of development paths can be very valuable, they do not focus specifically on teaching leaders how to create a vision and engage others around it. Developing such capabilities requires a thoughtful, purposeful approach—one that sets out agreed-upon goals and strategies. Several techniques have proved to be effective, particularly when used in combination. Among them:

Coaching and Mentoring. Every organization has current and retired leaders who over the course of their careers have articulated a strong vision—and seem to have an exceptional ability to convey it to others. Such leaders should be recruited to be coaches and mentors to both the current and the upcoming generation of leaders who need to develop in this area.

Training. Executive training programs should be expanded to specifically include inspiring and engaging others. These capabilities can be built into business scenarios and simulations.

Another proven approach is storytelling, followed by practice.

Tapping the Vision of Gen Y. Creating a vision means looking ahead to the ideas that will capture the imagination of new generations of employees and customers. Companies already have a powerful and available thought partner in their Generation Y employees. These workers can provide valuable insight into the kind of products they and their peers would like to buy as well
as the kinds of organizations they want to work for.

Changing the Culture. The importance of developing vision and engaging others around it must be made part of the corporate culture.

As in past Trend Reports, the lack of bench strength continues to be the single most influential factor on executive development. With the end of the recession, many baby boomers who delayed retirement are now leaving, fulfilling long-standing predictions of an alarmingly limited flow in the executive pipeline. Many current executives acknowledge they have not yet prepared their successors, often because it is difficult to find candidates with expertise in the necessary specialties.

In addition to Hagemann, the report authors include John Mattone, Senior Talent Management Consultant and Master Executive Coach with Executive Development Associates, and John Maketa, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Pearson .

About EDA
Executive Development Associates is a leader in creating custom-designed executive development strategies, systems and programs that help organizations build the capabilities needed to achieve their strategic objectives. EDA leads the way in the use of executive development to help organizations successfully address their marketplace challenges and accelerate the execution of their business strategy. With their proven ability to achieve results, they create measurable improvements in both individual executive performance and business outcomes. For more information about executive, leadership and high-potential development, visit http://www.executivedevelopment.com.

About Pearson TalentLens
Pearson TalentLens publishes scientific assessments that are used globally to hire and develop the 21st century workforce. Our instruments measure critical thinking, problem solving, and a range of job skills to deliver data-driven insights that inform and clarify an organization’s human capital decisions. Learn more at TalentLens.com

Press interviews or copy of the report, contact Bonnie Hagemann • CEO, Executive Development Associates, Direct: +1 816 830 6001; Toll Free: +1 866 EXEC DEV, ext. 201; or bhagemann@executivedevelopment.com

Bonnie Hagemann/Steven Infanti
Executive Development Associates
4 NE 10th Street, #171
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
816 830 6001

7 Leading Industry Associations Join Forces To Address Conflict Minerals Compliance

Seven of the largest industry associations collaborate with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP to launch the first cross-industry resource center, addressing the SEC’s Conflict Minerals compliance regulation.

Washington, DC, January 21, 2014 - Seven of the world’s largest industry associations collaborate with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP to launch the first cross-industry training and resource center, addressing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Conflict Minerals compliance regulation. Source Intelligence has developed the Conflict Minerals Resource Center (CMRC) to support over 15,000 member companies who collectively generate over $3 trillion (USD) in GDP and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

Key representatives from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) worked with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel to align training and resource center priorities to provide member companies with the information they need to comply with the SEC regulation.

The goal of the joint initiative is to deploy easy-to-use Conflict Minerals compliance tools across the seven industry associations. By providing the member companies and their vendors and contractors with the information and resources needed to meet the compliance requirements, all players along the supply chain can spend less time navigating policy, and more time producing the products and services that generate economic growth and jobs.

These tools will help companies understand the complicated requirements of the regulation, recognizing that it is the responsibility of individual companies to identify their specific compliance obligations and handle the real challenges that remain as they design their own programs.

On August 22, 2012, the SEC adopted a final rule to implement Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). The rule requires publicly-held companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals as defined by the law: tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold (3TG) originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and specific adjoining countries.

The first report, covering calendar year 2013, is due to the SEC by May 31, 2014. The SEC and Government Accountability Office estimate that approximately 6,000 issuers and 280,000 non-issuer companies will be directly or indirectly impacted by the rule.

Source Intelligence is honored to be entrusted with providing the nation’s leading manufacturing and retail companies with the most complete resource for managing conflict minerals compliance,” commented Jess Kraus, CEO and co-founder of Source Intelligence. “Our market leadership servicing global brands has enabled us to build the largest network of suppliers in the world. Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel, the premier law firm in conflict mineral compliance, are combining our experience, best practices and resource libraries to provide a comprehensive training and resource center to inform and educate companies in these vital industries.”

Access the conflict minerals training and resource center by registering today at http://conflictmineralsresources.com

About the Associations
Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of $350 billion in annual U.S. retail sales.

The Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association represents the interests of manufacturers, suppliers and retailers of jewelry and accessories. With more than 225 member brands, FJATA serves as the key voice on industry issues to state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, and actively promotes industry safety and compliance initiatives. Our members comprise a highly dynamic and competitive segment of the fashion industry, providing jewelry and accessories to adults and children worldwide.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 12 million men and women, contributes more than $1.8 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for two-thirds of private-sector research and development.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia, its 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products used in the generation, transmission, distribution, and end use of electricity as well as medical diagnostic imaging. Worldwide annual sales of products in the NEMA scope exceed $140 billion.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com

Toy Industry Association™, Inc. (TIA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating, producing and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Association represents more than 600 companies that collectively account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including the development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) represents the fashion industry: textile and apparel brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989 as the United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel with the goal of eliminating the global apparel quota system, USFIA now works to eliminate the tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the industry’s ability to trade freely and create economic opportunities in the United States and abroad.

About the Contract Award Winners
About Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (www.srz.com):
Schulte Roth & Zabel ("SRZ") is a full-service law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and London. The firm's practices include investment management; regulatory & compliance; bank regulatory; business reorganization; distressed investing; employment & employee benefits; environmental; finance; individual client services; intellectual property, sourcing & technology; litigation; mergers & acquisitions; real estate; securities & capital markets; structured products & derivatives; and tax.

SRZ is a leader in global conflict minerals compliance. The firm is actively advising public and private companies and trade associations across a wide range of industries and throughout the supply chain on conflict minerals compliance. As part of its leadership in this area, SRZ has published more articles, Alerts and White Papers, participated in more programs and been quoted in the press significantly more than any other law firm. SRZ is also the only law firm with an Advanced Conflict Minerals Rule Compliance webinar series. This ongoing series features third-party experts and thought-leaders from across the compliance spectrum, including from the upstream, downstream, trade association, NGO, governmental and investor communities. SRZ's conflict minerals practice is part of its global public companies practice, which is headed by New York-based partner Michael R. Littenberg.

About Source Intelligence® (www.sourceintelligence.com):
Source Intelligence® is an information knowledge company that helps customers make informed decisions about business partners to offer products that meet legal, ethical, and environmental standards. Our cloud-based information and analytics platform provides customers with visibility into product supply chains and material sources in order to comply with the law, minimize operational and brand risk, and improve efficiency.

As a leading provider of conflict minerals compliance programs, Source Intelligence protects customers’ interests with private industry’s largest network of suppliers, a platform to manage and connect business partners, and a portfolio of compliance programs for all regulated materials. Founded in 2009 by career experts in environmental solutions, management consulting and analytics, Source Intelligence® has headquarters in Carlsbad, California and operations around the world.

Lina Ramos
Source Intelligence
1921 Palomar Oaks Way, Ste 205
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(877) 916 6337