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I will let you decide? in my opinion though most definitely yes as put simply when you look at the 4 factors that CEO’s and HRD’s are judged on they can really yield fantastic returns.

These 4 factors are:

  1. Financial Performance
  2. Talent Attraction & Retention
  3. Organisational Ability
  4. Employee Productivity

Lets take each in turn and explore in more detail…

Financial Performance

There are many studies that will show you that those companies that really excel in leadership development will have a higher revenue growth and gross profit margins. Sometimes this can be as large as 5 times higher than other companies. Makes total sense right?! But why? Well I am not sure there is 1 answer but for me it is the cohesion around a coordinated business strategy which measures and drives leaders to take more risks or see those hidden opportunities.

Talent Attraction & Retention

Here we are really talking about the investment that companies make in developing their people internally rather than always recruiting externally. At TalkTalk this was a major part of our talent story and very publicly set ourselves an ambitious target of 60% internal mobility. You do not need to go that high potentially but the message that this sent to our people hugely drive in my opinion pride, passion and engagement within the business. If you think about it when you are looking for talent for a project for example an internal person knows the business and how to get things done.. if you hire someone externally it takes at least 90 days to get them up to speed and you may have missed your opportunity.

Organisational Ability

We are living in a VUCA working environment where everything is changing and as businesses and the people within them we have to be agile and adapt at pace. 83% of businesses who investment in leadership development respond quicker to change and pace, compared to 52% of businesses with less mature programmes. Scary if you are working in a businesses in a PE environment or high tech industries especially but this could apply to most areas of business now.

Employee Productivity

I read somewhere recently that a great leader elicits 3 times the amount of talent, energy, commitment and motivation from their people compared to their counterparts. With the generational nuances that we are all facing this has to something to sit up and take notice of, as the average millennial will work for over 12 different organisations in their working lifetime. Those businesses that have great leader can and will be the differentiating factor for why you stay.

We have all spent a lot of money on leadership development programmes but by sticking to these 4 simple rules in design, development and evaluation I am sure we can make a change for the better.

Consistency is critical in developing leaders by modelling the behaviour, creating strong visual strategies, rewarding great behaviour and following through with heart and backbone I believe we are at an exciting time in leadership development.

So what do you think?



Jo is an experienced & innovative leader and manager in the creative & technology sector. She believes that talent drives businesses, that by throwing away conventional scripts we can create environments that deliver behavioural innovation for business, the UK and the wider world. She wants to create legacies for businesses that deliver commercial, cultural and behavioural change.

Jo is Director of Talent Management for TalkTalk Group. She is responsible for driving an ambitious, innovative talent strategy. Her ambition is to empower people to take responsibility for their learning to make TalkTalk a brighter place to work for everyone – fulfilling theirs and others dreams and ambitions. She is currently creating a distinct employer brand proposition which plans for future business growth, driving a culture of innovation & risk which allows TalkTalk to be more opportunistic about where and how they develop their talent.

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