Do you have the next generation of leaders you need?

Anxiety is high among organizational leaders that as vital as a new generation of leaders is, many do not feel ready to promote talent.

In a recent survey by Korn Ferry, only 39 percent of those surveyed believed their organizations had the right talent to succeed in today’s changing global environment. One third did not feel their organization is ready to promote its talent at all.

With succession management so critical to driving a competitive advantage and securing a company’s future, what is hindering organizations from preparing for and feeling confident in their succession development efforts?

According to the same survey, based on responses from 100+ senior-level executives from 49 countries, the top issue detracting from talent management efforts is buy-in of a global talent management approach. Why global?

[wcm_restrict]As companies are operating globally, their ability to develop executives who can lead across borders is critical. Effective global succession management, or the practice of identifying up to the third generation of successors for a particular role, requires companies to promote and develop people not only based on ‘what they do’ but ‘who they are.’ That means finding and developing leaders who have a blend of the right competencies and experiences, as well as the right personal traits, such as openness to new ideas, risk taking, and cultural agility; plus a paradoxical blend of motivators such as collaboration and autonomy, status and achievement.

This means that companies need to evaluate the full person, and not just what they are good at. When they do, they will achieve greater success.

What can you do to take a global approach?

  • Dig deeper. Many organizations believe they are taking a global approach, yet find that their talent is still not moving across functions or regions, or that talent management remains siloed. Take a close look at how your organization currently functions and compare it to organizations that are running truly global talent management approaches. What needs to change?
  • Break down the siloes. This allows talent to be seen and owned as an enterprise-wide asset. This facilitates more cross-functional or lateral promotions to ensure leaders gain the key experiences necessary to advance to higher levels of leadership. It also provides leaders with cross-cultural and diversity leadership experience which becomes increasingly more important as organizations take a fluid approach to transferring and promoting talent.
  • Re-evaluate succession planning. Succession starts by identifying which roles are mission critical and then accurately identifying high potential leaders who have the leadership characteristics and motivation to advance into those roles. Not all high performing leaders are high potential and not all leaders want to move up.
  • Drive focused development. While high potential leaders need to develop overall leadership skills, knowing exactly what the challenges are at the next levels and developing against those, will help ensure that they target development to prepare to meet those challenges. It also helps make transitions into new roles easier and less susceptible to derailment.
  • Measure readiness. Developing a leader for a role does not guarantee that he or she is ready to step into that role. By measuring readiness, you can know exactly how far or close a leader is to being fully ready – and also close remaining development gaps.

A global approach to succession will ensure that your organization leverages the full force of leadership talent across the enterprise. It will help you gain confidence that you do indeed have the talent you need to succeed.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

Andrés Tapia is senior partner, Leadership and Talent Consulting, Korn Ferry.

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