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Companies Focus on Developing Global Leaders


In a clear sign that corporate management is striving to compete successfully in today’s worldwide marketplace, a majority of large organizations have implemented or plan to implement global leadership development initiatives, according to a study of nearly 1,000 companies on six continents by American Management Association (AMA) in partnership with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

“Doing business today means operating in a marketplace that is global, no matter where you’re headquartered,” said Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President for AMA Corporate Learning Solutions, which offers advisory services and tailored learning programs to organizations. “Top management is pressed to find ways to improve performance and to do so with greater consistency and effectiveness. This means that upcoming leaders need to have a broader skill set, one that equips them to think and act globally.”

Do you currently have a global leadership development program/curriculum?

Yes, and we’ve implemented at least one such initiative


Yes, we’ve developed at least one but have not fully implemented anything yet


No, we don’t but are planning to develop one or more


No, we don’t and have no plans to develop one


The most widely taught competencies were critical thinking and problem solving, change management, building and leading cross-cultural teams, ability to influence and build coalitions, and execution of global strategies, reported Edwards. “But the study found that these, the most popular competencies,” Edwards said, “weren’t necessarily the ones that correlated most highly with market performance or global leadership effectiveness. Among those critically important competencies were agility and adaptability to manage global shifts, expansion of the organization’s brand in local and global commerce as well as innovation management.”

Most commonly participating in global leadership training were vice presidents, directors and targeted high-potential executives.

“Not surprisingly,” observed Edwards, “those respondents that identified their organizations as ‘global’ were much more likely to report that they have developed and/or implemented such a program, twice as likely in fact…or 62%. Likewise, just 12% of participants working in ‘national’ organizations indicated they have global leadership initiatives.”

AMA joined with i4cp to study what high-performance companies do differently. The study population consisted of primarily senior-level business, human resources and management professional contacts drawn from both AMA and i4cp. These were surveyed via e-mail and 939 usable responses were collected. Three-quarters of the companies (75%) represented in the survey are headquartered in North America; 65% are based in the U.S. and nearly 10% in Canada.

With more than 85 years’ experience and headquartered in New York, American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a leading provider of comprehensive leadership, management and talent development. AMA’s specialized division, Corporate Learning Solutions, partners with corporations and government agencies to provide results-oriented training solutions that are aligned with business, culture and workforce strategies.

The Institute for Corporate Productivity (www.i4cp.com) is the world’s largest vendor-free network of corporations focused on building and sustaining highly productive, high- performance organizations.

AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.