Now more than ever, companies across the world are focusing on developing global leaders through international assignments.

In the book, “Leading Across New Borders”, the authors explain that “most business leaders recognize how critical it is to have a good strong global talent strategy." But so many companies struggle with defining what a good global talent strategy looks like and how to implement one.

The book goes on to emphasize that the smartest, most successful companies realize that it is the level of their talent that is setting the rate limit on their global growth. Frequently, their failure to compete is due to a lack of globally ready and available talent – this lack of talent, particularly in leadership positions, is what prevents them from taking advantage of international business opportunities. The takeaway here is that the speed with which a company can or will grow is completely dependent on the level of talent they possess within their organization.

In a survey (co-sponsored by the Ashridge Business School and The European Academy of Business in Society), 76% of executives said they believe their organizations need to develop global leadership capabilities, but only 7% of them think that they are very effective at it. That is a huge gap between what they feel is needed and what they feel they are getting.

To start considering how to close this global leadership gap, read this article (the first of three) by Daniel Russell, a partner at RHR International.