Strategic Human Capital Insights

There’s No Organizational Replacement for Quality Leadership

This is the fourth blog in our Human Asset Management series. To view the prior blogs,
click here.

Is Your Current Leadership Team Up to the Human Asset Management Task?

Double exposure of businessman hand points human resources, CRM and social media as conceptThe topic of human capital is everywhere today but how do organizations implement a robust human capital structure and culture, one that goes from talk to action? In my previous blogs, I discussed moving the narrative about human capital to the next level – human asset management. If we do that, we think about employees and, more importantly, managing employees like the dynamic and robust assets they can be. We need to think about employees relative to peak performance and productivity, value creation and relevant and future-focused skills and knowledge upskilling. As leaders, we need to view our employees as continually appreciating assets. This is good for both the employee and the organization.

Human asset management cannot exist organizationally without the critical function called leadership.  Only leadership can focus on how employees are upskilled and ready to meet the organization’s workforce challenges and demands of today and tomorrow.

If the role and function of leadership is so critical, let’s see if leadership is ready for the task.  Here’s what the current data reveals:

The CEO View

CEO’s were asked to identify the leadership attributes and behaviors most critical to success as a leader.  The top five prominent attributes in every region globally were:

  • Managing complexity
  • Leading change
  • Retaining and developing talent
  • Leading with integrity
  • Having an entrepreneurial mindset

What did CEO’s say about their leaders and the reasons for current leadership deficits?
Leaders aren’t ready to assume the new and evolving leadership roles due to:

  • Lack of investment in continual management and leadership development for the past 15 – 20 years
  • Extraordinary, discontinuous change which has profoundly changed the competencies required of the leader

The Readiness of the New VUCA Leader

As we evaluate leaders relative to the evolving VUCA skills, (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) here are the results:

  • 25% of organizations report their leaders are not VUCA-capable
  • Only 19% identified their leaders as ‘very capable’
  • Less than two-thirds of leaders themselves said they were either “highly confident” or “very confident” in their ability to meet the four specific VUCA challenges:
    • Volatility - 40% Readiness
    • Uncertainty - 32% Readiness
    • Complexity - 36% Readiness
    • Ambiguity - 31% Readiness

What happens when organizations get their leadership issues right?

  • 20% higher than average leadership quality and bench strength
  • 28% more critical positions can be filled internally and immediately
  • 3 times more likely to outperform other companies on financial metrics
  • Organizational consequence:
    • Increased organizational agility – ability to deploy upskilled employees on demand
    • Increased business resiliency – ability to meet and adapt to change

What happens when organization get their leadership issues wrong?

  • 67% lower than average leadership quality and bench strength
  • 21% fewer critical positions can be filled immediately
  • Organizational consequence
    • Compromised organizational agility – inability to deploy upskilled employees on demand
    • Decreased business resiliency – inability to meet and adapt to change


Where is your organization’s leadership on the Human Asset Management continuum? 

To find out more about an alternative method to evaluate the issues of human asset management, we invite you to watch Part 3 of our video series: "The Impact of Human Capital on Your Organization", or you can also schedule a complimentary assessment with a member of our team.

Watch the Video Series >>


Topics: Human Asset Management

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

In 2014, Joanne Flynn founded Phoenix Strategic Performance, a strategic human capital advisory firm. Prior to this, Joanne was Vice President at Goldman Sachs for 10 years responsible for global learning and development. She then led the consulting practice of Phoenix Group International, a consulting firm specializing in global financial service. Joanne is now taking best practices from the people-intensive financial services industry and adapting those best practices to startup and growth businesses. She is a thought leader in the areas of strategic organizational alignment, organizational agility, human capital gap analysis, leadership challenges for the new workplace and transformation leadership.

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