Think Tank Aims to Improve Leadership Transitions

Washington — June 17

Academics, business leaders and CEB have announced the launch of The Leadership Transition Institute. This new organization is a nonpartisan think tank with the mission of improving the economic and human outcomes of leadership transitions at private, public and governmental organizations globally. The institute, with offices in Washington, D.C., London and Singapore, will create a platform for collaboration among top researchers and business practitioners.

As organizations face rising complexities and performance pressures, leadership transitions are occurring more frequently and with greater costs than ever before. Recent CEB research reveals that, while spectacular failures draw the most attention, nearly half of all leadership transitions struggle quietly. Similarly, while costs such as executive compensation draw attention, the true costs of ineffective leadership transitions are much more far-reaching, from declines in organizational effectiveness, productivity and key talent retention, to negative career impact on affected leaders and employees. By strengthening transition management, many organizations have an opportunity to boost revenue by as much as 3 to 5 percent, while reducing costs and operating risk.

“Despite being a widespread challenge at most corporations and having a potentially negative impact on corporate performance, leadership transitions remain a significantly under-researched area,” said Randall S. Peterson, professor at London Business School. “Organizations typically approach this critical business event without the proper processes in place, leaving the new executive with the burdensome task of trying to navigate their new environment alone.”

The institute’s initial research partners include among others, Peterson; Mansour Javidan, professor and founding director of the Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Thunderbird School of Global Management; Katherine Klein, the Edward H. Bowman professor of management, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; and Konstantin Korotov, professor and director of the Center for Leadership Development research, European School of Management and Technology.

The Leadership Transition Institute is focusing its agenda on three areas related to leadership transition effectiveness:

  • Understanding the costs and causes of leadership transition failures.
  • Assessing and selecting the right leadership talent.
  • Establishing proven processes and innovations for transition management.

Source: CEB