A snapshot of Executive Development for Corporate Responsibility Professionals in the UK

Corporate Responsibility (CR) professionals in leading UK-based companies feel current approaches to development are not giving them the breadth of competencies required to be effective, according to a new report compiled by Ashridge in collaboration with the Corporate Responsibility Group (CRG). The overall purpose of the report was to understand the changing roles of CR professionals and the competencies they require to be effective. Despite the increasing skills required in a CR role, less than one in five questioned could identify one area in which they felt their training and development needs were currently being fully met – highlighting a significant gap in executive development provision. The report found that, in line with the previous 2005 survey, practitioners believed that to be effective they needed the following competencies: An understanding of CR topics, including stakeholder engagement and reporting Skills to engage and influence colleagues Building and maintaining leadership for the company An understanding and ability to work with an ever-broader range of business functions. For example, 76% of respondents said that the ability to understand and work with Human Resources would be important for them by 2009, compared with the only 54% who had said it was important in 2005. The majority of respondents stated that personal development was included in their annual review and that they did undertake a range of training activities. However, very few rated these as effective or highly effective. As with other professions, CR practitioners need to have development tailored to their own specific requirements.

Gribben, C. and Woudstra-van Grondelle, I. (2007) A snapshot of Executive Development for Corporate Responsibility Professionals in the UK, Ashridge and the Corporate Responsibility Group

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