Executive Development Blog

Preparing Leaders to Succeed in a Global World

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Feb 16, 2017 10:56:42 AM

Below is a summary of our most recent white paper written by Horace McCormick. You can download the full paper below.

Globalization is a fully loaded freight train that cannot be stopped. According to the Wells Fargo International Business Indicator survey released in late April 2016, 47 percent of U.S. companies surveyed expected their profits from international activity to increase in 2016, and 87 percent of companies agreed that international expansion was needed for long-term growth. In addition, 60 percent of survey respondents expected their international business to increase in 2016, and 54 percent of survey respondents believed that the international component of their businesses would become more important over the next 12 months. All this despite a global business environment that is often described as more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) than ever before.

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This global VUCA landscape makes developing globally competent leaders more important than ever. In fact, 63 percent of the organizations surveyed for a 2015 University of North Carolina (UNC) and Human Capital Institute (HCI) study on global competencies said there was an urgent need to develop globally competent leaders, yet only 48 percent thought their training and development was realistic to the challenges they have found when working on a global scale. Another study by McKinsey found that 76 percent of multinational organizations said they needed to develop global competencies, but only 7 percent thought they were doing so very effectively. That same study found that nearly a third of U.S. organizations said they had not pursued international business opportunities because they lacked competent employees who could operate in a global arena.

Developing globally competent leaders is important to global—and to not-yet-global—organizations because it gives them a competitive advantage over their peers. The UNC/HCI global competence survey found that 88 percent of currently global organizations and 29 percent of local, regional, and national organizations anticipate using international teams in different countries within the next three years. And 86 percent of currently global and 22 percent of local, regional, and national organizations are also planning to expand their operations into other countries in the next three years.

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Topics: leadership, leadership development, global mindset