Succession planning is a process, not a one-time strategy to check off the to-do-list. This blog series outlines key steps in the succession planning process. To read the series from the beginning, click here.
With increasing pressure to deliver results to shareholders, organizations are looking to their high potential/high performing leaders more than ever before. In order to engage and retain this critical group, organizations need to offer business challenges and development assignments designed to deliberately stretch and grow their capabilities.
When senior leadership has assessed the organization’s talent and identified the activities where future leaders can build their competencies, it’s time for line managers to sit down with staff members and collaborate on plans to build the competencies they need to develop. These development discussions can be integrated into the performance-evaluation process, which is a natural setting for discussing the skills that staff members need to advance in the organization.
Leadership workshops, classes, on-the-job learning, assignments, special projects, 360’s, external classes are just a few ideas that can be used to create solid development plans for future leaders.
Now on to the good stuff…..assessing what you put in place. To be successful in succession planning, you have to monitor the leadership development processes just as you would any of your organization’s other critical functions, to learn which processes work and which could be improved.
The goal of monitoring is simple….is the roadmap to leadership producing the leaders you need. There is no one right way to monitor progress. One approach is to check the development of your most promising leadership candidates. If they are on track, that is good, but if you are not seeing the results you expected don’t see it as a failure. These development plans can always be improved.