In today’s article, we take a more focussed look at three key benefits of ensuring your organisation has an integrated, strategic plan for succession. In our last article, we reviewed best practice thinking about succession and high potential. Now, we turn our attention to reasons why implementing these practices are vital for organisational growth and success.
#1 Overcoming the challenge of talent scarcity
While there is some variance across industries, an uncomfortable reality of modern talent management is the ever-present threat of talent scarcity. The world is shrinking and with it, the degree to which talented employees can be considered as truly local assets. Competitive and talent-hungry organisations no longer have only their domestic talent pools to choose from. In addition, modern knowledge workers see themselves are far more mobile and globally-aligned than previous generations.
Such trends in talent supply mean that leadership-ready and digitally sophisticated talent will likely remain on the talent endangered species list for the foreseeable future.
As a result, talent professionals and business decision-makers need to discuss high potential identification and succession planning as part of their strategic agenda. In a marketplace where there are no guarantees in finding the right talent, organisations will increasingly have to recruit (and develop) from within. Therefore, an organisation’s capability to accurately identify the correct internal candidates for succession opportunities becomes more important than ever.
Of course, there are scientifically robust methods of identifying such candidates, as we discussed in our previous article. What is important to note here is that unless high potential identification and succession is a priority for talent professionals and executives alike, an organisation is likely to be exposed to considerable risk in a highly competitive (and ever-contracting) global talent marketplace.
#2 Preparing the leadership pipeline
Leadership potential and capacity are on the top of many organisations’ most-wanted lists when it comes to talent supply. The work landscape is shifting and the rise of job crafting, the gig economy, and remote teams (among others) will require leaders to have a more flexible set of competencies than before. In conjunction with Millennials entering the talent marketplace, tomorrow’s business leaders will encounter challenges that their predecessors may not have had to deal with.
In response, talent professionals will need to revise leadership models and competencies when identifying potential successors for senior roles. By integrating leadership succession into a strategic talent plan, talent professionals can mitigate against the risks associated with talent supply in this area.
#3 Promoting more on-brand behaviours
In our previous article, we proposed that best-practice succession planning incorporates both universal indicators of success (e.g. cognitive capacity) and role-specific competencies (i.e. The: “High potential for what?” question).
In identifying both types of competencies, succession planning is a unique opportunity for organisations to evaluate what on-brand behaviour really looks like. Why? The activities required for successful succession planning challenge talent professionals and managers alike to critically evaluate the behaviours (and associated competencies) that should be considered as markers of high potential.
In this way, strategic succession planning can be a powerful tool for the executive to promote behaviours that will enable their strategic objectives. Because a careful understanding of how high potential employees can contribute to team and organisational goals is central theme of succession planning, the project naturally lends itself to such conversations within the business.
Therefore, the succession planning project is the ideal stage for a discussion about the critical behaviours the organisation will require into the future if strategic business goals are to be accomplished.
Succession planning and high potential identification are vital tasks for talent and line managers who want to future-proof their organisations. But to achieve this aim, the succession question has to appear on the strategic agenda of the business leadership.
In today’s article, we listed three potential reasons IO practitioners can use to motivate for that to happen.
If you’re interested in how we help our clients with succession and high potential identification, why not drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org?