Thursday, May 06, 2010

Developing Future Leaders: The Importance of Succession Planning

One of my favorite blogs – the Glass Hammer – posted a great article last week on the importance of succession planning. The piece, by Elizabeth Harrin, examines why it is a good idea to keep an eye on what’s going on at your company, and how you can work towards planning for the long term future. You can check out a snippet of the article below, or find the full text here.

The number of managers available to step into leadership roles will drop dramatically in the coming years, according to a recent study by Egon Zehnder International. The average company will be left with just half the talent it needs by 2015. Why? Demographics – there just aren’t that many people around with the right type of skills and experience. This means that companies are going to have to get a lot better at identifying and nurturing talent from within, as recruiting externally is going to get tougher and more expensive. This is the process of succession planning, and not many companies do it well.

“Historically, companies only considered leadership development a priority for top executives. Market issues are beginning to change this mindset and more and more organizations are starting to think more widely and deeply about their talent,” says Alice Snell, Vice President of Taleo Research, the research wing of talent management software company Taleo. “Unfortunately, there is no ‘restore previous settings’ button to get organizations back to pre-recession growth and success, but having a comprehensive talent management strategy that identifies and builds on critical talent throughout the organization is a good place to start.”

Why don’t companies do succession planning?

Succession planning isn’t difficult, but you do only get the benefits when someone leaves, and that can seem like a long way into the future. Companies put off succession planning because it doesn’t look like a value-adding task. There are often other, higher priority things, on which to spend HR dollars.

Blog Archive