SPRINGFIELD, PA., March 3, 2014 - A new study of more than 300 senior executives at large companies, conducted for global consultancy Gap International by Harris Interactive, highlights business leaders' critical challenges when it comes to people and skills. While leaders rely on their teams, the survey found that only 32 percent of executives are confident they can predict whether their teams will deliver as promised. The Gap International Genius Survey also found that while most executives rank maximizing talent and empowering employees as priorities, their investments lean more toward technology.
The survey explored executives' uncertainties around "people-focused" challenges:
- Just one-fifth (19 percent) of leaders surveyed "strongly agree" that all of their employees can exceed corporate performance goals. Respondents, on average, said less than 37 percent of their employees have the potential to be top performers.
- Only a minority of respondents (32 percent) "strongly agree" that they can predict whether their teams will deliver the results they commit to achieving.
- A mere third (33 percent) of leaders surveyed "strongly agree" that they have established a method that helps their teams replicate success.
- When asked which areas they will invest in to grow innovation, the most popular response was technology (67 percent), which clearly beat out areas like leadership training (43 percent), as well as optimizing employee performance (44 percent).
Concerns over replicating success, predicting results and exceeding goals all tie back to what Gap International characterizes as levers of extraordinary performance – something all leaders want from their teams.
"Everyone has a unique genius – it's the thinking behind the moments when we're at our best," said Pontish Yeramyan, president, chief executive officer and founder of Gap International. "By tapping into the genius of themselves and their teams, leaders can conquer these performance-related challenges and then predict – and produce – exceptional results."
When asked about the importance of particular leadership challenges, 84 percent of respondents placed the highest levels of importance on maximizing talent in the organization and effectively empowering people to perform without micromanagement.
"While executives say empowering each employee to be successful is valuable, they feel challenged to actually deliver on this," said Eric Jackson, vice president at Gap International. "In fact, two-thirds of leaders do not strongly agree they have established a method to help their team replicate success consistently."
Global executives will be discussing challenges like these and how to answer them at Gap International's Leveraging Genius conference this week, Mar. 3-7. For more information on the conference, please visit the Leveraging Genius webpage.
For more information about the survey, please click here to download the Executive Summary.
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. from September 12 – September 30, 2013, among a total of 305 senior corporate executives with revenues of $1 billion or more.
About Gap International
Gap International is a global consulting company that partners with leaders in producing exceptional growth. For over three decades, Gap International has worked with FORTUNE 500 companies, Global 1000 corporations and U.S. Government agencies – enabling leaders, teams and organizations to operate at the highest levels of performance. The company is headquartered in Philadelphia, with an international office in London.
Edelman for Gap International