Spending on Leadership Programs is on the Rise

Organizations are increasingly willing to invest in training and development for managers. According to a recent survey by The Conference Board and Right Management, more businesses are expected to increase spending on leadership development programs in the next 12 months.

The survey found that spending on leadership programs is likely to rise in 36 percent of companies in North America and Europe. In Asia, this investment is estimated to increase in 46 percent of companies, while only 10 percent of respondents worldwide said spending on these programs would decrease.

"On balance, the findings suggest that investment in leadership programs is likely to rise somewhat," said Ric Roi, the head of global center of excellence for talent management at Right Management. "This will mean an increased investment in talent initiatives at a time when so many organizations face a challenge maintaining an ample pipeline of 'ready now' candidates to move up into positions of greater responsibility and scope. And no doubt it's due to this pressing concern that spending will not only continue, but rise."

The survey also found that almost half of businesses would be investing in executive coaching or mentoring in the next 12 months. Another 41 percent intends to invest in action learning initiatives and 33 percent on focused skill development. Other areas of spending include executive assessments (31 percent), international assignments (28 percent) and executive education (28 percent).

"Not surprisingly, the rising investment spans the full range of development initiatives, from coaching to social learning," Roi added. "While coaching is at the core of most leadership development initiatives, an interesting finding is the relative importance attached to so-called action learning initiatives, which appear to be gaining ground."

The findings come from a 2012 survey titled "Strategic Leadership Development: Global Trends and Approaches," which included 654 respondents.

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