One of the best resources available to inform leaders of the latest workforce trends is the Global Leadership Forecast. This year's report, produced as a collaboration between DDI, The Conference Board, and EY was an eye-opener.
The research integrates data from 25,812 leaders and 2,547 HR professionals across 2,488 organizations from 54 countries and 26 major industry sectors.
As I studied this massive report, I couldn't help but notice the immense challenges executives face in the coming years to attract and retain leaders faced with staying competitive in the age of digital disruption.
With robotics and artificial intelligence projected to affect two billion jobs over the next decade, this massive study revealed four leadership mega-trends for companies committed to shifting to a more digitally-robust workforce.
1. Promote more women into leadership roles.
According to demographic data gleaned from more than 2,400 organizations around the globe, it was found that companies with more women in leadership roles across the board are 1.4 times more likely to have sustained, profitable growth, and are better prepared to handle digital disruption. The report states, "Leaders from more gender-diverse companies were twice as likely as their low-diversity counterparts to report that their leaders work together to create new solutions and opportunities, and that multiple perspectives determine success."
2. Develop strong work cultures.
Peter Drucker famously quipped, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." This is clearly evident in the data, as companies with strong work cultures in the study outperform the market by 42 percent. As "caretakers of the culture," such leaders build cultural cornerstones like a clearly communicated purpose, peer coaching, experimentation, psychological safety, and embracing diverse relationships across generational lines
3. Employ coaching skills across all leadership levels.
The data showed evidence that today's leaders increasingly work in shared leadership settings and utilize coaching to help each other make sound leadership decisions. In more agile companies, you'll naturally find leaders at all levels solving problems across the enterprise at a much faster rate through coaching skills.
4. Place Gen Xers on equal par with Millennials.
Given that Millennials grew up with technology, one would think digital savviness would be second nature. However, according to data from more than 25,000 leaders, ratings from Gen Xers show that "they are just as confident in their digital leadership capability as Millennials." Additionally, while they rated themselves as slightly more effective at digital literacy and leading with digitization skills, "Millennials are less confident in their effectiveness at leading virtual teams, perhaps because they lack overall experience in leading teams," states the report.