This article outlines the latest research from McKinsey on leadership qualities and leadership development. The authors state that more than 90 % of Chief Executives are planning to increase their investment in leadership development. Yet there is such little consensus about how to build leadership qualities (and which qualities matter most) that only 43% of CEOs are confident that their training investments will be worth the money spent.

Now McKinsey researchers have found a possible answer. They have identified four leadership characteristics that appear consistently in high-quality leadership teams, across industries and contexts. In fact, they say these four characteristics explain 89 % of the variance between strong and weak organisations in terms of leadership effectiveness.

Read for yourself what the four characteristics are. The one that particularly interests me is the ability to “seek different perspectives”. This chimes with our work in NHS Improving Quality on building thought diversity into our processes of change. We know that diverse teams of non-experts consistently outperform small groups of experts. In the health and care sector, we like to take advice from McKinsey. We need many different voices and perspectives in our transformation activities. Let’s hope we listen to McKinsey on this topic too.


IMG_0494_SqThis contextual piece was written by Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer at Horizons Group, NHS Improving Quality @helenbevan