Leadership Development 2014: A Review and Look Ahead

Leadership development is one of the greatest challenges facing organizations today, yet few companies have a successful strategy in place:

  • Three-quarters of global organizations surveyed by Brandon Hall Group in 2014 said their leadership development programs were not effective.
  • Less than half said they had formal leadership development strategies.

Future leaders have a different set of expectations, and organizations must respond by providing an environment that encourages individual success as well as organizational success.

To wrap up 2014 and kick off 2015, Brandon Hall Group highlights key developments this year, predicts 2015 trends, and highlights several research reports that provide guidance on how companies are empowering leaders to improve their leadership and improve business results.

Looking Back at 2014:

  • Leadership development was one of the top three priorities for talent management investment in 2014.

  • Technology has evolved significantly to enable leaders to improve succession management.

  • Leaders that develop high-performing teams invest in strong communication resources, tools, and strategies to drive that success.


The following research reports provide guidance on how companies are empowering leaders to achieve these goals:

Top 5 Talent Areas Prioritized for Increased Investment

This KnowledgePoint report focuses on areas of talent management where organizations have prioritized more investment in the next 12 months. The data comes from Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 Talent Management Benchmarking Study and includes areas such as leadership development and succession management.

High-Performance Succession Management: Building Your Bench for Business Continuity

This white paper introduces the concepts of high-performance succession management (SM). Readers will understand the purpose of SM, be able to determine organizational readiness, understand leading practices, assess SM candidates, understand the role of technology in implementing SM, and understand the importance of integrating SM with other talent processes.

5 Habits of High-Performing Teams

Brandon Hall Group’s team development research found that dysfunctional teams can negatively impact organizational productivity and quality by more than 76%. Teams are an important part of how work gets done in today’s organizations, so companies should keep in mind several characteristics of high-performing teams when developing teams.

Predictions for 2015: 

  • Top Investment: Leadership Development will continue to be a top investment for talent management. As a result, companies must shift their view of leadership development. Leadership development is not just about developing leaders – it is about creating a culture of accountability and performance. Great leaders attract, hire, and inspire great people. Leadership development creates a magnet for high-performers and fosters a high-performance organization.

  • Technology: More solution providers will offer tools and technology to enable leadership development and integrate these strategies with broader talent management. We are already seeing several providers enter into this market with the next generation of assessments, learning, and career development solutions aimed at leaders and we expect this trend to continue. Leadership development will soon be a key component of any talent management suite rather than an isolated area that is handled in a silo by third-party consulting firms. Additionally, we expect to see more solutions that combine technology with service offerings for developing future leaders and empowering high potentials.

  • Career Development: Career development and empowering employees will be a key initiative for the next generation of leaders. Career development is one of the most overlooked and underserved areas of talent management. Yet, in today’s highly competitive market, organizations that continuously empower their employees with the tools they need to succeed are better able to drive business outcomes. Additionally, a well-executed career development strategy serves as the foundation for integrated talent management – linking various talent processes in a way that strengthens employee engagement, improves retention, and increases overall productivity. Despite these benefits, few organizations understand how to implement a powerful career development strategy. Most managers lack the competencies to develop employees, most employees lack the resources needed to guide their career path, and most technology providers lack the capabilities to deliver results.


Laci Loew, VP and Principal Analyst,
Talent Management, Brandon Hall Group


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