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Recognising the value of developing individuals within business

By Cranfield School of Management

value of individual development

Survival in a rapidly changing marketplace requires businesses to place organisational development at the heart of strategy.

In practice, however, executive development initiatives are often low down the priority list. Ironically, this means key managers are often ill-equipped to handle the strategic issues the business wants them to.

To enable managers to deal with strategy this order of priorities should be turned on its head and the development of the individual put first. In other words, businesses will grow as individual managers grow, not the other way around. Furthermore, equipping key managers to work effectively on business strategy has the added benefit of improving their engagement in the business.

The leadership capabilities required to work successfully with the strategy of a business pose a complex individual development question. Broadly, these capabilities involve: 

Cognitive skills 

The thought process required to read, analyse and resolve strategy issues.


Seeing oneself as others do and being clear about personal motivations and values.

Emotional resilience 

The ability to manage emotions appropriately to cope with pressure and adversity.

Personal drive 

The ability to self-motivate and take personal risks.

As the matrix below demonstrates, when coupled with knowledge about strategy, organisational processes and markets, these leadership capabilities create organisational impact.



Each of our General Management programmes are designed to offer a comprehensive and integrated personal development experience for people at critical transition points in their managerial career.

Join managers from a diverse range of industries to learn from each other and widen your perspective. 

Tags: Cranfield School of Management, exec-feature, developing leadership, executive development, general management, leadership capability, share knowledge, knowledge management, external perspective