So, a bus hits you…seriously, have you planned for succession, even if only long enough to mend in the hospital? Leadership development is an essential part of your organizations’s health plan. Chances are that even if you do have a succession ‘plan’ it’ll be resting on on a shelf somewhere, collecting dust. So let’s talk about sustainable leadership development.
Here are some ideas on how to make leadership development, with an eye to succession, a more relevant process in your company.
Think ‘development’ – not ‘planning’
As business guru Marshall Goldsmith points out, plans do not develop anyone — only development experiences develop people. Many companies put more effort into the planning process than they do into the development process. Succession planning processes often become an end in themselves rather than an initiator of real development. They have lots of forms, charts, meetings, due dates and checklists which can create a false sense that meaningful development is actually happening.
Keep it simple
The metrics of many succession plans are overly complex and time consuming. Often they can be highly process-oriented as opposed to outcome-oriented. Effective metrics for Succession Development might include goals like the percent of executive level vacancies that are actually filled with an internal promotion vs. an external hire, the percent of promotions that actually come from the high-potential pool or the level of participation in a mentoring program. All too frequently companies only measure the percent of managers that had completed succession plans in place.
Succession starts at the top
Succession Development starts at the top of the house. Skepticism will arise if middle management is asked to participate in succession development while the C-suite has no intention of following suit. So model at the top Mr./Mrs./Ms. CEO. If you’re serious about developing your entire team, what specifically are you doing to stretch the capacity of those potential candidates right next to you?
Succession is now and always
Good succession development happens organically in organizations that have highly engaging work cultures that promote personal and professional sustainability. You could say that good succession planning is like pay-it-forward where employees are inspired to stay and contribute in new and more challenging ways because they see a clear path for themselves.
Increase Your Company’s Bench Strength
Ultimately, CEOs and their teams need to work on setting both a culture of development and succession, not only for the executive ranks but also for the more junior levels across the organization.
Brockway’s unique five-step Engage 360 program sets in motion ongoing and meaningful talent development. Targeted coaching and development activities support individuals in creating action plans to increase effectiveness and satisfaction at work and play. Fully engaged employees are keener, more creative leaders who strengthen team spirit and deepen corporate bench strength. Engaged employees at all levels are not only good for succession development, they are your company’s future.
Leaders who are able to engage others in a way that inspires them to higher levels of productivity, leadership, creativity, health and life balance are those who care about the long term success of their company.
Intrigued? Call Brockway Human Services and ask how their Five Step Foundations Toolkit can help your organization develop healthy, sustainable 360⁰ engagement that truly has transformational impact.
What are your ideas on succession development? How can the process be improved? What are some great examples that you know of?