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The Star Online > Business Tuesday January 29, 2013 Which is better for business, to build own leaders or just buy leaders from the market? Talking HR with Graeme Field

EVERYONE knows this famous “mis-quotation” from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In the play, Hamlet is musing on the merits of living or dying but that is certainly not the purpose of this article. Here, my two Bs stand for “Buy or Build...” now, that is the question. When it comes to leadership in an organisation, a question that is often asked by CEOs and their boards is “Are we better off trying to build our own leaders or should we just buy from the market?” Not surprisingly, the best firms adopt both strategies but around the region we are seeing greater emphasis being placed on “building leadership” from within the company. As a former CEO of mine was fond of saying, “This is the rice we have and we have to cook with it.” Since building your leadership talent requires considerable investment from your company in terms of resources people, time, opportunity costs and money and it is not an easy thing to do, you need to make sure that you do the best possible job. How do you invest your money wisely, and really work to harness the rewards? As research indicates (see my last column), the return on investment (ROI) for effective leadership is truly very high, so the question is “How do you maximise the value of your investment?” Here are some global, best-practice leadership development recommendations. Leadership is not generic there is no “one-size-fits-all” leadership model. Every organisation and company is unique and approaches its business in a different way. The best leadership development programmes are contextualised to the needs of the business or organisation. As such, leadership requirements for each different organisation need to be very clear at the start of any development programme. What are you really looking for from your leadership team given the state and nature of your business and...

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