I just arrived back home from my amazing trip to Dubai and it was an absolute honor and privilege for me to speak to the faculty and EMBA/MBA students at one of the top business schools in the world, the Hult School of Business and also to present my “Talent Leadership” workshop to 200 UAE executives and future executives. I also enjoyed my visit to the impressive Dubai One Television Studios and being interviewed “live” about my work in the fields of leadership and talent management. During our Innoverto organized event, I shared the results of our recent talent management and leadership global study in which we interviewed and surveyed over 150 CEO’s from a variety of global companies.

The #1 operating issue faced by CEO’s is not competition, technology and innovation challenges, branding, economics…it is the lack of current and future leadership depth. These findings are no different than the findings we have had with this study since 2004. The problem is that despite everyone acknowledging this challenge, very few organizations are actually addressing the challenge. 66% of the companies in our study actually indicate that their leadership pipelines are the same or weaker than two years ago. In many respects, this can be interpreted as a global demographic issue. In most parts of the world, except India, various countries in Africa, South America, and I would definitely include the UAE as well, there simply is not enough talent available in the generation x population (born between 1965-1985) and the generation y population while they are massively talented, are not ready to assume roles of leadership and senior leadership.


Yes, there is a clear global demographic challenge. Demographic challenges aside, however, savvy CEO’s and leaders of HR and talent management clearly admit that they need to do a much better job of developing stronger leaders now and identifying and developing future leaders so they prepare their organizations to compete successfully now and into the future.

Beyond sharing my research and best practices from world class talent management companies as well as client case studies, I enjoyed providing the people of the UAE with detailed “how-to’s” for strengthening how they select and promote leaders and future leaders, strengthening how they engage, motivate and inspire leaders and future leaders, and share ideas on how they should reward the “best of the best”—in terms of performance, potential and readiness to assume higher-level roles. As I shared with the executives that day, both the global and UAE research is clear… that organizations that excel in talent management practices, outperform their competition, drive higher operating success, and can provide a nation—the UAE, with a strong foundation for long-term sustainability.Yes, it has always been about talent; it will always be about talent! 


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