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The Big Story: The leadership challenge

HR professionals need to take a different approach when it comes to succession planning.

Video transcript below:

Stephanie Zillman, HC Online
Stephanie Zillman:
 Hello, I’m Stephanie Zillman and you are watching the Big Story on HC Online. HR professionals have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to succession planning. That’s the view of Pia Lee, CEO of Leading Initiatives Worldwide, who says companies need to take a different approach to developing future leaders.  

Pia Lee, Leading Initiatives Worldwide
Pia Lee:  The rules have changed.  So organisations have changed, they are more disparate, they are flatter, the opportunities for jobs higher up the chain are actually less.  So we need a slightly different approach.
Lynne Salmon, Taleo
Lynne Salmon:  The essential ingredients for organisations is to actually take a broader view of succession planning.  So to take a view not just on the roles, but the talent that’s required for those succession plans.  
Vanessa Macbean, ABC Radio
Vanessa Macbean:  If you look at having a really well developed succession planning model, it sort of actually goes down through you know more than just one layer of management, so you are actually looking at newer people in the organisation.
Stephanie Zillman: Lynne Salmon of Taleo’s says it’s vital for companies to encourage future leaders to broaden their skills to a range of valuable workplace experiences.
Lynne Salmon:  Succession planning and leadership development are actually [entwined].  Strictly speaking succession plan is a tool and that, but the process itself is about development of employees and getting them ready for the succession plan itself and the job is to help with the process are things like training and development.
Pia Lee:  Instead of the corporate ladder, we have more of the corporate lattice, which is how can we be more broad in the way that we think that.  So whilst there may be less jobs at the top, how do we build a broader portfolio of experiences for our up and coming talent.  What we are finding in our world is that many organisations are enlisting our help to support high potential individuals and give them much greater chunkier strategic projects to work on and how to support them to get more exposure to broader areas of the business.
John Francois, McAfee
John Francois:  Ensuring that our people have a valuable career path.  I think in particular with Gen Y and you know, Gen X, Gen Y coming through in our work forces, certainly that generation will look for, you know career opportunities and career development.
Stephanie Zillman:  Vanessa MacBean of the ABC says one of the key elements of succession planning is through the sharing of knowledge.  
Vanessa MacBean:  We have got a phase to retirement plan which will allow people to go part time if you like towards the end and part of it is about mentoring somebody else in the role, who will be coming up into that role and information sharing.  
Stephanie Zillman:  And Lynne Salmon of Taleo’s says technology can play a major role in the succession planning process.
Lynne Salmon: Technology can be an enormous help.  Internal career sites are great for employees actually applying for positions, but with newer technologies our recruiters, the managers themselves can actually proactively search for candidates within their organisation and employees equally can express their aspirations and desires for a career path.
Stephanie Zillman:  For more on succession planning and other industry news, click around HC Online.  I am Stephanie Zillman and I will see you again soon with the Big Story.