Explore the Latest Ideas and Discoveries

Explore the latest topics and initiatives on today’s most pressing leadership issues.

Societal Advancement: Theory of Change

CCL’s Societal Advancement (SA) Insights and Impact team has developed an initial Theory of Change model for leadership development in the social sector. Current client research focuses on understanding individual and organizational leadership learning journeys and developing measurement and evaluation practices for the unique challenges faced by this sector. Our research team is exploring:

  • Issues of scale and best practices related to accelerating leadership development across SA sectors
  • Organizational cultures in the SA space and relational/social aspects of leadership with SA clients
  • Utilizing SA clients and relationships to try innovative methods for exploring our theory of change

Digital Transformation

Digital is the introduction of new, innovative technologies to improve the experiences of clients, customers or employees. These new technologies often require digital transformation: Changes in strategy, processes, products, and platforms, ultimately changing the way people work AND requiring a different organization, culture and mindset. CCL’s research team will be examining leadership challenges in a world where technology and change shapes and disrupts us every day. The digital transformation of humanity is one of the most critical, disruptive challenges of all time. How do we help leaders lead in this world?

CCL’s digital transformation model will be grounded in the SOGI model: leadership transformation at the Societal, Organizational, Group, and Individual levels. Proposed topic areas include:

  • Developing resilience in individual leaders as they lead through continuous change
  • Understanding models of agile innovation
  • Continuing development of CCL’s signature cultural transformation models, vertical development and Direction, Alignment, and Commitment (DAC)
  • Exploring ethical leadership and potential societal impact
  • Developing two new assessments, one focused on organizational digital readiness and one on individual digital leadership

Leadership Analytics

CCL has begun a new practice focused on big data and analytics in leadership development. We are creating new analytical techniques and insights based on numerous data sets, including our own, our clients,’ and publically available data. Key areas of analytics research include:

  • The role of networks (for leaders, teams and organizations) in creating high performing teams and achieving business outcomes
  • Text mining, natural language processing, and structured topic modeling to create new data and insights from open-ended text
  • Video analytics to understand how leaders show up, audience perceptions, and relationships with assessment data such as CCL’s 360 Benchmark data
  • Identification of high-performing global executives through analysis of public data
  • Leadership typologies

The ROI of Leadership Investment

Our research scientists, data scientists, and evaluators collaborate on research to understand the link between investments in leadership development and tangible outcomes—whether improvements in leadership competencies, cultural dynamics, or business Key Performance Indicators (KPI)s. Our teams are currently examining:

  • The relationship between employee engagement and leader assessment data to business outcomes such as retention, customer experience, revenue, and costs
  • The impact of specific programs and program designs on leadership outcomes like competency improvement and career path
  • New methods for measuring the impact of organizational leadership initiatives such as talent systems, collaboration, and restructures

Explore CCL’s Signature Research

Our research programs give you access to a broad range of business knowledge on significant leadership topics. Each body of work builds from prior studies, spans a substantial time period, and captures the passion and commitment of the researchers involved.

Experience-based Development

CCL’s seminal work on the processes by which leaders learn, grow, and change.

360 Assessment

Pioneering work on multisource feedback methodologies, relativism of different rater sources, and cultural differences. CCL studies have found that competency ratings, as well as the degree of agreement between rater sources, are quite predictive of important outcomes, including leader performance and derailment.


Derailment occurs when leaders plateau, are demoted, or are fired. Derailment has been investigated as an outcome in numerous CCL research studies. Specifically, our studies have identified leader behaviors, as well as other variables, that are most likely to contribute to leader derailment.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

CCL’s body of work in the area of demographics and leadership.  This is includes research on the challenges, barriers, biases, and supports associated with women’s leadership, how demographics effect leadership in an age of increasing diversity, and the development needs of leaders working globally across cultures.

Leadership as a Collective Social Process

A body of work applying a social constructionist epistemology to examine leadership as a process of social construction produced through relationships.

DAC Leadership Framework

Pioneering work on a definition and measure of leadership encompassing a full range of human activity in addition to the leader.

Team Effectiveness

CCL’s research examining how teams function and how to make them more effective.

Cultivating Holistic, Brain-based Leadership Practices

Groundbreaking research leveraging the latest knowledge from neuroscience, cognition, and mindfulness to increase leaders’ resilience.

Generations at Work

CCL’s notable research on similarities and differences among generations in the workplace.

Networks and Their Role in Leadership

An exciting new research program exploring social networks within organizations to uncover patterns and gaps in communication and influence.