The effectiveness of management teams and organisation-wide leadership capability are the two top challenges facing organisations over the next three years according to Henley Business School’s 2016 Corporate Learning Survey.

63% or organisations considered the effectiveness of management teams to be their major concern followed closely by 62%, which were worried about organisation-wide leadership capability.

Larger organisations were more concerned about these issues than smaller, with 72% citing organisation-wide leadership as a concern compared to 45% of smaller firms and 67% citing management effectiveness compared to 57% of smaller organisations.

“Organisations are increasingly embracing the idea that leadership is not only an individual pursuit, but also developing the collective quality of leadership across every corner of a business in essential,” says Dr Bernd Vogel, Director of the Henley Centre for Engaging Leadership at Henley Business School.

Whilst employee engagement and talent retention remain the top two people challenges, there has been a massive jump in the number of organisations that predict that senior level succession planning will be an issue in 2016 – a 70% jump from 2015.

“Organisations are experiencing a perfect storm of issues around loyalty, generational challenges and the breakdown of trust from endless restructuring.  Many organisations are struggling with succession and putting a lot of work into transition.  Making the leap from running a business unit to leading an enterprise requires a completely different set of skills,” says Professor Nick Holley, co-director of Henley’s HR Centre of Excellence.

Online learning (6%) has again been chosen as the least preferred method of learning delivery by senior and executive management with coaching (66%) remaining the top choice.  This is significant as large organisations cite individual online and blended learning (part online, part face-to-face) as the second and third most likely development activities to be used in 2016 at 64% and 62% respectively.

The online survey was completed in the last quarter of 2015, by 439 respondents from 47 countries, 62% non-HR executives and 38% HR executives.