Three steps to a successful succession plan

When developing leaders, shifting paradigms mean that HR will have to tackle this task in a very different manner in future

While 66% of organisations have introduced programs for the development of high-potential candidates, a staggering 74% of leaders say these programs are not effective.
These results come from DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015 which also found that only 45% of leaders highly or very highly rate their organisation’s general leadership development programs.
While there has been some progress made in this area, it is time for things to change, said Mark Busine, managing director for Development Dimensions International (DDI) in Australia.
“In the spirit of change, three key enablers will underpin a more effective approach to succession and leadership development moving forward.”
1) Context
When defining leadership, you can never focus on a single set of attributes or values, Busine said. In the same way, senior development also cannot hinge on an organisation’s conditions or priorities.
“Don’t treat leadership development or succession as a ‘one size fits all’. Know your context and build your approach accordingly.”
2) Insight
It is also important to shake off any long held views and question all beliefs regarding leadership development, Busine said.
“Don’t assume that what we have done in the past will necessarily be right for the future. The key is to use data and insight to guide more effective decisions and actions.”
3) Energy
By focusing too much on bringing structure, orders and discipline to the succession pipeline, organisations effectively drain the energy out of many activities, he said.
“As a result, the users of our system have passively or actively rejected them. Energy in an organisation is a tricky thing. It’s often hard to define but we know when it exists and more importantly when it doesn’t.”
The key, he said, is to unpack your current leadership development programs and rebuild them with people sitting right in the centre.

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