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Aon Hewitt, The RBL Group and Fortune Announce the Global Top Companies for Leaders
Global leadership study clearly shows link between investing in leaders and financial results, as well as the importance of measurement and involvement

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM, General Mills and Procter & Gamble head the 2011 list of Global Top Companies for Leaders, the most comprehensive study of organizational leadership in the world.  The Top Companies for Leaders study is conducted by Aon Hewitt, the global human resource consulting and outsourcing business of Aon Corporation (NYSE:AON), in partnership with The RBL Group, a strategic HR and leadership advisory firm, and FORTUNE Magazine.  This year's winners were selected and ranked by an expert panel of independent judges based on criteria including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, alignment of business and leadership strategy, business performance and company reputation.  The 2011 list is featured on today, will appear in the November 21 issue of FORTUNE, and can be found below.


When comparing the Global Top Companies for Leaders to more than 470 companies worldwide, the study identified a strong connection between business strategy and leadership strategy.  All of the Global Top Companies have articulated a clear business case for investing in leadership as a strategic imperative.  Nearly 85 percent of Top Companies say their leaders can explain how the investment in leadership affects financial performance, while only 54 percent of all other companies in the study can say the same.  In fact, 92 percent of Top Companies say their stakeholders understand how their leadership strategy creates value, compared to just 78 percent of all other organizations in the study.

"While some organizations will fail with effective leaders, all organizations will fail with ineffective leaders," said Pete Sanborn, global leader of the Talent and Organization Practice with Aon Hewitt. "Leaders create the vision and set the tone. Strong leaders will engage and focus a workforce. Organizations can have roadmaps, processes and structures for success, but if leadership doesn't actively support it or can't articulate it, then these programs will fall on deaf ears, resulting in a lack of organizational focus.  The commitment to a holistic program for leadership is a cornerstone in the journey to financial success."

Dave Ulrich, partner at The RBL Group and professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan adds, "Leadership is not just for employees anymore.  Good leaders need to behave consistently with the expectations they create for the customers, investors and communities.  When customer expectations drive leadership behaviors, a sustainable leadership brand occurs."

Measuring Makes a Difference for Top Companies

Top Companies have metrics in place to evaluate the effectiveness of key leadership development programs, and to assess their ability to maintain a strong leadership pipeline.  All of the Top Companies evaluate their succession management programs, while just 48 percent of all other companies analyze the effectiveness of their succession efforts.  What's more, 92 percent of Top Companies measure their leadership development processes, compared to 61 percent of the other companies, and 84 percent of Top Companies also assess their high potential programs, while only 49 percent of the rest do the same.

In terms of planning for the future, 92 percent of Top Companies measure the strength of their leadership pipeline, as well as their ability to retain leaders, while 60 percent of all other companies measure these two areas.  In addition, 92 percent of Top Companies evaluate their ability to retain high-potential/critical talent, compared to 69 percent of all other companies, and 92 percent of Top Companies also evaluate their ability to fill key positions with internal candidates, versus 58 percent of all others.  

Executive Teams at Top Companies are Actively Involved in Leadership Practices

As leaders move up the ranks at the Top Companies, they continue to be involved in development programs.  The study shows that all CEOs and senior management at Top Companies lead and participate in their organizations' leadership development programs, versus 62 percent of CEOs and 79 percent of senior management at all other companies.  Further, 92 percent of CEOs, along with all of senior management at Top Companies are involved in coaching/mentoring initiatives, compared to 61 percent of CEOs and 79 percent of senior managers at all other companies.

About the Study

With more than 1,200 data points and 900 executive interviews, the Aon Hewitt 2011 Global Top Companies for Leaders Study is the most comprehensive, global research on leadership in the market, examining the link between leadership practices and financial results.  This study explores how organizations assess, select, develop, and reward leaders, and examines the execution of leadership practices, as well as the strategy that guides it.  To learn more about this study, please visit

About Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource consulting and outsourcing solutions.  The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance.  Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies.  With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees.  For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE:AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital solutions and outsourcing. Through its more than 59,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to deliver distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally in over 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary 2007-2010, best reinsurance intermediary 2006-2010, best captives manager 2009-2010, and best employee benefits consulting firm 2007-2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

About The RBL Group

The RBL Group is a strategic HR and leadership advisory firm. For over 25 years, its principals have collaborated with leading global organizations to strategically align corporate and business strategy to ensure sustainable high performance through the integration of theory, applied research, and practice. The RBL Group has trained and redesigned some of the best-managed companies in the world, helping them achieve significant improvements in bottom-line results. It is recognized internationally for innovative research and publications on Leadership, Intangible Assets and Strategic HR, including hundreds of articles, more than 400,000 books sold, numerous industry awards, and recognition as outstanding educators and advisors by leading business publications.  For additional information about The RBL Group, its principals and expertise, visit

About Fortune

FORTUNE magazine is a global leader in business journalism with a domestic circulation of over 850,000 and a global readership of nearly 5 million, and major franchises including the FORTUNE 500 and the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. FORTUNE Live Media extends the brand's mission into live events, hosting a wide range of annual conferences, including FORTUNE's Most Powerful Women and the FORTUNE Global Forum. FORTUNE publishes English-language editions in Europe and Asia, and local-language editions in China, Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia, India and Greece. FORTUNE magazine's online home is averages more than 13 million unique visitors a month.

Global Top Companies for Leaders

Featured below is the list of the Top 25 Global Top Companies for Leaders, announced today on Conducted by Aon Hewitt, in partnership with The RBL Group and FORTUNE Magazine, this list was selected by an independent judges panel, consisting of world-renowned authors, professors, business executives and executive coaches:

  1. IBM
  2. General Mills, Inc.
  3. The Procter & Gamble Company
  4. Aditya Birla Management Corporation
  5. Colgate-Palmolive Company
  6. Hindustan Unilever
  7. ICICI Bank Limited
  8. McDonald's Corporation
  9. Whirlpool Corporation
  10. PepsiCo, Inc
  11. General Electric Company
  12. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
  13. Natura Cosmeticos S.A
  14. Deere & Company
  15. 3M Company
  16. Eli Lilly and Company
  17. McKinsey and Company
  18. L'Oreal
  19. Unilever plc
  20. Siemens AG
  21. Intel Corporation
  22. China Vanke Co., Ltd.
  23. Wipro Ltd.
  24. Bharti Aritel
  25. Novartis AG


Media Contact:


Joe Micucci

Jackie Karlberg


Aon Hewitt

The RBL Group







SOURCE Aon Corporation

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