SEVEN “HABITS” OF THE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE SUCCESSION PROCESS

Research shows that organizations are experiencing a drastic leadership shortage. Yet the Corporate Leadership Council and other sources suggest that organizations with top tier leadership teams have about 10 percent higher 3-year total shareholder returns than industry peers.

What are the levers to develop a robust leadership bench? Incorporate these seven best practices into the way you develop talent, and soon, you will have a strong talent bench ready to meet current and future business needs. Learn More >

  1. PASSION FOR SUCCESSION PLANNING MUST START AT THE TOP AND BE INTEGRATED INTO THE CULTURE

     
    TIPS: Adopt principles to handle blockers within your culture. It could include your thoughts on:

    • Talent differentiation
    • The role of line leaders versus corporate resources to develop talent
    • Beliefs about make or buy, and
    • Views on the movement of talent throughout the business
  2. PRIORITIZE STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL RISKS

    TIP: Protect your operations and intellectual property. Customize your succession process based on the types of risks you have now, and anticipate having in the next 3-5 years.

  3. DEVELOP TALENT GOVERNANCE

    TIP: Like other parts of your business, declare clear accountabilities for developing talent.

  4. DEVELOP TALENT IN CRITICAL ROLES

    Some people ask, aren’t all roles important? The answer is yes! I always say if you have endless development dollars to spend on everyone, please do so by all means! The point of differentiating is to allocate scarce development resources to the targets that are likely to produce the most impact.

    TIPS:

    • Segment critical roles and key talent.   Differentially invest in talent according to their impact on strategy and operations, and the degree of difficulty to replace these positions if they become vacant
    • Define the requirements as your leaders move from an independent contributor to an enterprise leader, and
    • Visibly monitor the progress of talent development plans for critical roles
  5. PLAN FOR MULTIPLE TALENT REVIEWS

    TIP: The traditional, big annual event is often too mechanistic and politicized. Plan multiple, less formal talent reviews with ongoing, quality dialogue and follow-up.

  6. DETERMINE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

    In his book Execution, Larry Bossidy shares how development doesn’t come without effort. He spent about 30-40% of his time providing the right experiences and developing talent for his first 2 years at Allied Signal.

    TIPS:

    • Make development an ongoing process. Don’t set out to accomplish succession planning without a clear development strategy. Otherwise, you are just making lists, which you could do with much less effort.
    • Utilize competency-based performance standards. Progressive companies know you can’t grow talent without an accurate development target.
  7. MONITOR THE ONGOING HEALTH OF THE PIPELINE

    TIPS:

    • You need an early warning risk detection system so you can make mid-course changes as needed.
    • Consider integrated business planning — integrate your strategic, financial and talent planning processes, so that you can forecast both the supply and demand for talent.