2013 Best Companies for Leadership | North America

Ron Garonzik

    The best-led companies in North America identify critical roles and the people who should fill them. They intrinsically understand what they must do to motivate, inspire and keep these employees.     
Ron Garonzik
National practice leader, leadership and talent
Hay Group
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Developing leadership talent for mission critical roles sets North America’s top 10 Best Companies for Leadership apart from their peers.

Managing mission critical talent
The Best Companies for Leadership in the North America are especially adept at managing talent at all levels in the organization. However, what really sets them apart from their peers is the way they develop leadership talent for mission critical roles .

These companies identify the roles that are intrinsically linked to business and organizational strategy, both now and for the future. They then focus talent management strategies on those roles. It may be roles that are critical to ongoing operations – and talent that can deliver faster, work smarter, more cost effectively, who can hunker down to weather a storm or ramp up to seize the day. Or roles that define the future - people who are the blue-sky thinkers creating a new future, seemingly out of nowhere. The outstanding North American companies identify these roles and the people to fill them, and understand what they must do to motivate, inspire and keep them. It’s hard work. Competitors covet these employees and tempt them with offers to jump ship.

Organizing for remote leadership
North America’s Best Companies for Leadership are much more savvy than their peers in how they organize teams across disparate locations. Communications technologies have made remote working increasingly common, but there is more to managing effectively than broadband and regular conference calls. The best companies work hard at developing leadership strategies for high performance in situations where team members meet infrequently. Peer group companies are less willing to encourage dispersed teams – and when they do they place a different emphasis on the people they choose for the teams. While the Best Companies for Leadership pay a higher regard to emotional intelligence, peer group companies are more likely to select technical capabilities over behavioral competencies that can make or break effective on-the-job performance.

Nike and Accenture top the twin peaks 
In common with their global counterparts, the North American Best Companies for Leadership are adept at balancing the ‘twin peaks’ of operational excellence and innovation. Nike and Accenture most closely reach the ideal balance; valuing both innovation and operational excellence equally.