Overthe past decade, such headlines have dominated the news.
Companies are firingsenior managers in a bid to cut cost. Thequestion arises – what happens to the knowledge, experience and insight thesemanagers have when they leave the organization?Leadershipplanning takes care of such events and others. It is about planning forsuccession, planning for growths & advancements. It should be an integralpart of a company’s growth plan. The number one reason why leadership planningis important is business continuity. When a leader leaves, either voluntary ornon-voluntary, no void is left.
Such a void can lead to a ripple effect that leavesmanagers and employees at all levels in a state of confusion.Leadershipplanning should not be left to times of transition and crisis. It should bedone as part of the growth plan. Agood example of this P, who are considered to be one the of the bestcompanies in terms of leadership planning. The company has a rigorous process fordeveloping managers. No manager can be promoted until they have trained anothermanager to take their place. This is one of the reasons the company hasconsistently been voted the best company for leadership development.
Thesame concept is applied to other top successful companies such as IBM andGeneral Electric.Leadershipplanning entails more than just identifying potential successors and showingthem the ropes. It is a continuous training program which involves elements ofgrooming and mentoring. There are measurable KPI’s that can be tracked, bothfor the individual leader and the organization.
And it is deeply tied to theorganizational culture. Somemay say that this is dangerous for one’s career if they can be easily replaced.Leaders may be threatened by this especially if such a program has not beendone before. This is why it is very important to get buy in from the very beginning.It must be shown that there career growth within the organization will be there(through a growth plan) when their replacements are planned for. Sohow can you start leadership planning in your organization. Here are the steps.
1. LeadershipEngagementEngaging the leaders into the idea ofplanning is the very first thing to do. Their buy in could determine thesuccess or failure of the plan. The organization must demonstrate the need forleadership planning, the direction the company is going and their place on thisfuture. 2. LeadershipAssessmentA comprehensive assessment of the peoplein the organization must be done. This involves all potential leaders, not justthe current leaders of the company.
When a company knows its leadershipstrengths and areas of growth, they can map out the desired leadership they wouldlike to have. 3. LeadershipStrategyBased on the assessment done, a leadershipdevelopment program can be formulated to address the gaps and impart thedesired leadership skills. Such a program must be done continuously and notjust once every often. A continuous program ensures the company of a constantpipeline of leaders.
4. Individual& group goalsThe leadership strategy and thedevelopment plan must be broken down into individual KPI’s that be integratedinto the day to day activities of the employees. By making it part and parcel oftheir daily work will turn these new behaviors into an acceptable norm whichwill then start a new culture. 5. Implementation& MonitoringIn the words of Peter Drucker, “you can’tmanage what you can’t measure”.
The leadership planning program must bemonitored throughout its implementation with room left for feedback, review andredesign. Yourleadership journey is incomplete without passing on the experience, knowledgeand insight you have gained. Mankind has survived because those who came beforeus were able to share what they knew so that we could do more than justsurvive, they shared so that we can thrive.
A company with leaders who share,teach and mentor will thrive. Inthe words of Albert Mohler, “every great leader is a great teacher, and thegreatest leaders seize every opportunity to teach.” Y