Leading Effectively e-Newsletter - May 2009
Now, Rethink Succession Planning
Surviving the economic downturn and thriving in a post-recession world will require strong and well-developed pools of talent. But too many companies are hobbled by outdated succession plans and rigid people-management systems.
"In strong economic times, it is easier to ignore deficiencies in the succession-management process. Companies can absorb their weaknesses," says CCL senior faculty member Roland Smith, co-author of a new report on succession management. "In the current economic downturn, the need to identify and develop top talent for critical roles is much more important."
The report, High-Impact Succession Management: Best Practices, Models and Case Studies in Organizational Talent Mobility, was produced by CCL and research and advisory firm Bersin & Associates. It offers a comprehensive view of succession management and explores how companies are approaching it at all levels of the organization. Among the study's findings:
"Now is the time for companies to take a very close look at their talent and review the effectiveness and impact of their human capital systems," Smith explains. "Companies must rethink how they structure, source, manage and develop talent. In addition, companies have to be selective during layoffs, retaining those with the skills to move the company forward."
Smith and co-authors Michael Campbell, a CCL research associate, and Bersin's Kim Lamoureux, identify several succession-management best practices, including:
"Good succession management is clearly correlated to business success," says Smith, noting that best-practice organizations are three times more effective at achieving key business measures.
"Stakeholders are starting to ask companies hard questions about their succession practices — and whether leaders are prepared to get through the current crisis and capitalize on future opportunities," Smith adds. "Do they have the right skills, knowledge and experiences? Can they motivate employees? Our research shows that many companies don't know the answers to these questions."
Succession Best Practices: A New Report
High-Impact Succession Management: Best Practices, Models and Case Studies in Organizational Talent Mobility, a joint study by CCL and Bersin & Associates provides detailed resources for business and human resource executives involved in all aspects of succession planning and management. It includes a five-stage maturity model for succession management, 10 best practices for maximizing business impact; steps to quickly improve succession processes and a series of case studies.
The study was based on surveys and interviews with 220 senior human resource leaders responsible for succession planning and management, 25 senior business executives and succession-management leaders and 100 additional business leaders who evaluated the effectiveness of their companies' succession-management strategies.
For more information or to purchase the full report, visit: www.bersin.com/hism.