Challenges of Succession Planning

The bombing of the World Trade Centre, natural disasters such as the tsunami in Myanmar, or the sudden death of an executive can reverberate within an organization, causing paralyzing effects for staff and leadership. Issues such as these leave the business without the needed talents to execute business plans (Butler & Roche-Tarry)

  • Risk of having successors who do not fully understand the business.
  • Potential candidates are not always privy to more important corporate concerns, which affects their readiness to take a top leadership position.

Often, human resources (HR) personnel and senior managers focus on hiring or training and neglect succession planning, which is a key component of sustaining organizational success and completing strategic goals.
Having a data and plan-driven chain of command is central to organizational success. Intellectual capital, including human, financial, and technological, is the backbone of an organization. Having employees who possess soft and hard skills is advantageous if a company is to continue growing.

 

Why is it Important to identify Hi-pots in the organisation?

For the past 15 to 20 years, we’ve been studying programs for high- potential leaders. Most recently we surveyed 45 companies worldwide about how they identify and develop these people. We then interviewed HR executives at a dozen of those companies to gain insights about the experiences they provide for high potentials and about the criteria for getting and staying on the list. Then, guided by input from HR leaders, we met with and interviewed managers they’d designated as rising stars.

Half of survey respondents said their top teams spend less than 10% of their time developing high-potential leaders.

Our research makes clear that high-potential talent lists exist, whether or not companies acknowledge them and whether the process for developing them is formal or informal. Of the companies we studied, 98% reported that they purposefully identify high potentials. Especially when resources are constrained, companies do place disproportionate attention on developing the people they think will lead their organizations into the future.

93% of survey respondents said that high potentials get promoted faster than other managers do. Self-fulfilling prophecy or great selection?

So HR folks might be asking themselves, “How do I get my company’s high-potential list right and reliable?” The upcoming webinar can help you begin to answer that question. Think of it as your effort to help the millions of smart, competent, hardworking, trustworthy employees who are progressing through their careers with some degree of satisfaction but are still wondering how to get where they really want to go. (Adapted from article from Douglas, Jay and Linda, Published in HBR)

X – Factor’ of High Potential(s)

What is the ‘X’ Factors for being a high Potential in any culture or position? We imagine that this is kay question that many hard working, smart and solidly performing managers ask when they look take a hard look at their career aspiration and opportunities available within the organisation. So, the question is what differentiate Solid Performer from Hi Pots in an organisation. Research at PMC shows that following 6 things matter:
Climate: relationship between employee and manager that influences employee actions and job performance.
Image: assessment of how the consumers (internal or external) perceive the quality of the services or output.
Credibility: The direct reports’ confidence level in their manager (do they believe in him/her?).
Desire: The managers’ demonstrated desire to perform all coaching activities (a manager’s degree of motivation to develop direct reports).
Skills: The managers’ aptitudes to successfully complete a coaching activity or/and process.
Capacity: The availability (real and perceived) of limited resources (time, money, space, direction, tools, and support).

‘Avoid Double Whammy’

These factors therefore provide a framework to measure and identify the ‘X’ Factor for hi pots in the organisation. One the common mistakes organisations (and HR) function can do is a ‘Double Whammy’.

Which entails that we identify High Performing Managers as High Potential. When we look at past or recent performance as key parameter to identify and grow the person a Hi Pot, may lead to a situation where you may lose a good frontline manager and gain bad or ineffective middle or senior manager. Our research also shows that often these parameters are viewed differently by HR or Top Leaders as compared to Direct report of the manager themselves. This is another important challenge to overcome when doing succession planning or hi Pot development. Data reveals that best predictor of right decision is the data from Direct Reports (DRs) rather than Direct Manager(s) (DMs).

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