Indian leaders would be put to the test for the next 12 to 18 months owing to lack of availability of key skills and rapid technological change.
As many as 79% of leaders in India see the availability of talent/skills as the most pressing threat to organisational health over the next 12 to 18 months (from a list of 20 threats), while a further 58% cited technological change, reveals Global Leadership Monitor India 2022 by global leadership advisory and executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.
And while 86% of the leaders in India have a high level of confidence in their efforts to prepare for technological changes ahead, only 53% believe they are prepared for the threat of talent availability.
The firm surveyed 1,590 global executives including 24 leaders from India.
“Leaders in India are broadly armed to deal with the rapid technological advancements confronting them – the devil tends to be in the pace of execution of change. On the other hand, retaining top talent including next-gen leaders remains problematic - the leadership team’s ability to engage with their leadership and develop clear succession plans is emerging as a key differentiator,” said Sachin Rajan, a leadership advisor at Russell Reynolds Associates.
According to the report, a clear two-third of India Next-Gen and C-suite leaders would move to another employer for the right opportunity. While career advancement was flagged as the top reason, a further unpacking of this reveals more nuance - seeking more connection to a personal sense of purpose and passion, alongside an ongoing quest for expanded responsibility appear to drive this.
Equally, 60% of this cohort would be willing to consider taking on a new role in their current organisation, highlighting that the push is not to exit, but more to grow and play to purpose.
To help organisations build teams of transformational leaders who can meet today’s challenges and anticipate the digital, economic and political trends that are reshaping the global business environment, Russell Reynolds Associates recommends three top actions to enable leadership retention:
- Developing and communicating succession strategies early and often
- Adopting robust and engaging development plans for employees at every level
- Constantly testing the pulse on employee expectations, a rapidly moving set of goalposts
Building trust and practicing structured engagement can help organisations harness the full potential of next-generation over longer cycles, while creating an increasingly purpose-driven employee base, noted the survey.