CEB's Success Recipe: Network Leaders


Management services provider Corporate Executive Board Co. (CEB) recently came up with some interesting observations in its research report titled ‘Executive Guidance for 2014’. In addition to a perfect recipe for success for diverse organizations, the report divulges the importance of evolving leadership strategies in accordance with the changing workplace dynamics.

According to this Corporate Executive Board report, strong leaders are likely to double the revenue growth of organizations compared with relatively weaker leaders. However, the report observed a dearth of competent skills in most leaders that are necessary to thrive in an ‘erratic and often volatile work environment’. About 37% of total executives surveyed acknowledged that their organizations had the requisite skills for success – rather implying that a vast majority lagged on this front.

In order to tide over this lacuna, the research study suggests organizations to nurture a new breed of ‘network leaders’ who are capable to develop powerful networks within the organization in order to create a harmonious work environment for employees to increase productivity. Network leadership has attained all the more significance due to a paradigm shift from a conservative leadership approach to a dynamic one, owing to rapid globalization and incessant need for cross-company collaboration.

The findings were corroborated by more than half of the surveyed employees, who reported a fundamental shift to a more fluid business environment with significant organizational changes in the past year. These include changes in target markets, product portfolios, business objectives, work location, work teams and job roles in tune with changing geopolitical and the socioeconomic scenario. The shift was further hastened by ubiquitous information and rapid technological advances with employee performance becoming more collaborative, interdependent, and knowledge based.  

Consequently, in order to improve competitive workforce productivity and bottom-line figures, leaders require to be more inspirational and embrace a more collaborative and network-building role by evolving with time. The Corporate Executive Board report suggests a three-pronged strategy for business firms to develop network leaders who achieve this objective. These include encouraging leaders to guide employees to think ‘out of the box’ to work more efficiently, building networking skills with exposure to diverse work experiences, and creating an effective succession plan to continue with the initiatives.

Corporate Executive Board is a premier member-based advisory company serving over 10,000 organizations around the globe. The company offers valuable insights, tools and actionable solutions to transform enterprise performance by combining advanced research and analytic tools from member companies. In addition, Corporate Executive Board also helps organizations to realize higher returns by more effectively managing human capital, customers and associated market risks.

Corporate Executive Board presently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other notable companies in the sector that are worth mentioning include Navigant Consulting Inc. (NCI), Exponent Inc. (EXPO) and CBIZ, Inc. (CBZ), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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Read the Full Research Report on EXPO

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