Developing Bench StrengthOrganizations around the world face the challenge in making sure they have a deep bench of talented leaders. Succession planning is the process by which business leaders ensure they have the right talent to achieve strategic goals. This includes ensuring the availability of ready successors, building bench strength for key roles, aligning ready talent with the strategic direction of the larger organization, and filling key openings quickly from within. Companies that identify, build, retain, and optimally deploy strong talent will have a distinct leadership advantage. One of the most important parts of succession planning is defining the competencies critical to the organization’s success. Competencies are integrally linked with business strategy and are used to:
- Communicate the key behaviors required for individual and organizational success;
- Provide a starting point for evaluating individual leadership capability;
- Shape the contents of leadership development programs.
The Benefits of OnboardingOne of the most valuable ways to assure high levels of success for leaders is to create an effective onboard coaching experience. Onboard coaching typically occurs during the first 90 days of an executive’s hire – the time in an executive’s career when critical and lasting impressions are made, and when quickly grasping the business and the nuances of the culture is critical. It targets executives when the stakes are very high for the new employee, the business goals, and the organization. The benefits of onboard coaching are compelling. Four out of ten newly promoted managers and executives fail within 18 months of starting new jobs, according to research by a leadership development firm in Pennsylvania. When first recruited, the following types of executives experienced the highest failure rates within the first 18 months: senior-level executives (39%), sales executives (30%), marketing executives (25%), and operations executives (23%).
The major reasons for failure in the new job are:
- 75% fail to establish a cultural fit
- 52% fail to build teamwork with staff and peers
- 33% are unclear about what their bosses expect
- 25% don’t have the required internal political savvy
- 22% there’s no process to assimilate executives into the firm
9 Components of an Effective Onboard Coaching EngagementOnboarding involves nine areas of strategic focus. These form the basis of the work between the onboard coach, the new executive, and the organization:
- Identify early on the skills most critical to leading in the new role.
- Clarify the boss’s expected results.
- Evaluate rapidly the new executive’s team, assess the present talent, and fill in gaps to ensure success.
- Accelerate the learning curve so that the executive’s leadership tone and style are matched quickly to the new role and are informed by the new culture.
- Develop collaborative relationships with key stakeholders and gain a robust understanding of others’ organizational points of view.
- Build effective and on-going communication channels throughout the organization.
- Gain understanding of both the formal and informal decision-making power within the organization.
- Deliver early results to establish credibility – then sustain the results.
- Support new leaders with tactics and strategies for success.