Hewitt Associates, The RBL Group and Fortune Announce Global Top Companies for Leaders

2009-11-23 16:03 2077

Global Leadership Study Finds Top Companies Remain Committed to Developing Strong Leaders Regardless of Economic Conditions

SHANGHAI, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- IBM, Procter & Gamble and General Mills head the 2009 list of Global Top Companies for Leaders, the most comprehensive study of organizational leadership in the world. The Global Top Companies for Leaders is conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global consulting and outsourcing company, in partnership with The RBL Group, a strategic HR and leadership systems advisory firm, and Fortune. This year's winners were selected and ranked by an expert panel of independent judges based on criteria including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, impact of leadership on communities in which they operate, business performance, and company reputation. The 2009 list, attached below, can be found on today and will appear in the December 7 issue of Fortune, on newsstands November 23.

When comparing the Global Top Companies with more than 500 companies around the world, Hewitt identified one distinguishing characteristic that sets them apart from their peers -- even during the economic downturn, Global Top Companies remained committed to building leadership capability within their organizations. In other words, tighter budgets and fewer resources forced these organizations to think and act smarter and more creatively about what really mattered when it came to leadership --but they didn't lose focus.

"Strong leadership is a critical element in helping global companies successfully compete, yet many organizations lack the know-how and infrastructure for creating a robust pipeline of leaders for future success. Simply put, they lack the discipline of building leaders," said Robert Gandossy, global practice leader of Leadership Consulting at Hewitt. "Our research and experience tells us that while leadership talent is in short supply around the world, the Global Top Companies for Leaders are still able to groom a near-constant supply of world-class leaders... year after year and regardless of economic conditions. This capability gives them a unique advantage over their competitors and will poise them to emerge stronger -- and more quickly -- out of the economic downturn."

"The quality of the leadership within a company helps meet the expectations of investors, customers and employees, and sets the stage for growth," said Norm Smallwood, co-founder of The RBL Group. "So developing the next generation of effective leaders is perhaps the most important undertaking of a forward-thinking company. The Global Top Companies for Leaders understand the urgency of a robust leadership culture and are learning to master how to build and sustain one."

Since the study's inception in 2002, Hewitt has identified a set of standard leadership characteristics embodied by companies that possess a winning leadership culture, including the 2009 Top Companies for Leaders. Leaders at these organizations are passionate and committed. Their leadership programs are practical, relevant and aligned with business goals. Top Companies have an intense focus on talent, and they are deliberate about whom they hire, whom they coach, whom they promote and whom they reward. Finally, leadership development at these organizations is an institutionalized practice and mindset.

In the Asia Pacific region, 12 companies were recognized for their outstanding leadership practices. The panel of judges commented that these organizations are making tremendous progress in setting the leadership agenda and tying it to business results. As the fastest growing region in the world, Asian-based organizations realize that they need strong leadership talent to drive growth. It comes as no surprise then, that talent is highly regarded in the Asia-Pacific Top Companies. Next generation leaders are receiving accelerated and customized development opportunities as a result of the growing complexity and scale of the market. As the Top Companies in Asia-Pacific continue to assess and strategize the challenges of a new economy, their innovation and diligence in cultivating leaders will position them well for both short- and long-term success.

"The Top Companies for Leaders in Asia-Pacific do three things exceptionally well," said Dr. Mano Ramakrishnan, the APAC project manager for the Top Companies for Leaders Study. "First, they place great focus on assessing and selecting their leaders. In particular they are very clear about the type of leaders they need to drive business success. Second, they accelerate leadership development by emphasizing experiential learning and customized development programs. Third, they recognize the importance of building a leadership brand. In particular, many Top Companies emphasize corporate social responsibility as a key aspect of their leadership brand. They understand that many top talent want more than success at their organizations -- they also want to positively impact their greater community."

"In China where the growth opportunities are immense, many organizations are frustrated that they are unable to achieve these objectives due to shortages of strong leaders. Hewitt's research findings show how companies can still create a strong pipeline of leaders regardless of the economic conditions and as a result, outperform their competitors," said Audrey Widjaja, Hewitt Greater China leadership consulting practice leader.

Top Companies for Leaders - Global Top 25 List

1. IBM

2. The Procter & Gamble Company

3. General Mills, Inc.

4. McKinsey & Company

5. ICICI Bank Limited

6. McDonald's Corporation

7. General Electric Company

8. Titan Cement Company S.A.

9. China Mobile Communications Corporation Shanghai Co. Ltd.

10. Hindustan Unilever Pvt. Ltd

11. Natura Cosmeticos

12. Colgate-Palmolive Company

13. TNT N.V.

14. Deere & Company

15. Whirlpool Corporation

16. 3M Company

17. Cargill, Incorporated

18. Olam International

19. Eli Lilly and Company

20. PepsiCo, Inc.

21. American Express Company

22. Lockheed Martin Corporation

23. Intel Corporation

24. Infosys Technologies

25. FedEx Corporation

Top Companies for Leaders - Asia Pacific Top 12 List

1. ICICI Bank Limited

2. China Mobile Communications Corporation Shanghai Co. Ltd.

3. TCL Corporation

4. Hindustan Unilever Pvt. Ltd.

5. Olam International

6. Aditya Birla Group

7. Lion Nathan Limited

8. Infosys Technologies Limited

9. The New Zealand Refining Company Limited

10. Wipro Limited

11. TrustPower Limited

12. British American Tobacco (M) Berhad

About Hewitt Associates

Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW) provides leading organizations around the world with expert human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions to help them anticipate and solve their most complex benefits, talent, and related financial challenges. Hewitt works with companies to design, implement, communicate, and administer a wide range of human resources, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation, and talent management strategies. With a history of exceptional client service since 1940, Hewitt has offices in more than 30 countries and employs approximately 23,000 associates who are helping make the world a better place to work. For more information, please visit .

Source: Hewitt Associates
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