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The annual survey from the global management consulting firm, the Hay Group and the Chief Executive magazine has General Electric as the world’s best company for leaders for the second successive year.

Procter and Gamble has retained its second position this year. Johnson & Johnson moves up to the third spot followed by Unilever ( not in the top 20 in 2006)  and Coca -Cola.

At ranks 6 to 10 are Siemens, PepsiCo, L’Oreal, Toyota, and Hewlett Packard. See the entire lists for 2007 and 2006 here.

The maximum number of companies are from the US (11), while 8 are from Europe and 1 is from Asia. The annual survey considered a total 790 companies around the world.

 In the study, 86.1% of respondents feel that, compared to a few years ago, the urgency to develop leaders in their organization has increased.

The survey identifies 7 best practices that are most effective for leadership development. However, it is the top three practices in this list that drive the rest. If companies are willing to do the ‘heavy lifting’ in these three practices, they will greatly increase their chances of keeping their leadership pipeline full.

The top three of the 7 best practices identified in 2007 account for 68% of the variance in leadership development outcomes. The best organizations for leaders have firmly established the conditions necessary for sustainable leadership.

This includes three key elements

  • Leadership development of all kinds is occurring at all levels in the organization
  • Managers are held accountable for their leadership behavior and the work climates they create
  • Development of teams is just as critical as development of individuals
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