As many of you would know, every year, millions of dollars are spent on leadership development globally. Why are outcomes widely inconsistent?
My personal experience of several decades interacting with industry leaders in India and abroad got me thinking.
Many organizations where the outcome of leadership development is consistently positive have grasped the fundamentals extremely well.
First, the management invests quality time in analyzing, debating and agreeing on a leadership framework that describes the leadership attributes that are necessary for that organization’s future growth and wellbeing. This is reviewed by the Board. The leadership framework is unique to each organization.
Second, the management in these firms invests time in talent review to gauge their talent inventory, talent gap and talent risk periodically. The CEO gets involved in talent stress test and this is reviewed by the Board.
Third, the management invests time in succession planning to review the future readiness of their leadership pipeline and leadership continuity. This is done for the long term as well as for the immediate term in case of a sudden drop-off of a leader. It includes the CEO’s position as well, and this is reviewed by the Board for the top two layers.
Finally, the Board ensures that the management uses the leadership framework, outputs of talent review and succession planning as inputs for their leadership development plan, reviews the plan and monitors progress.
My view is that talent review creates the ‘push’ and succession planning creates the ‘pull’ for leadership development with the leadership framework as the ‘North Star’. If any one of the three is not paid enough attention, leadership development does not deliver on its promise.
Are the Boards approaching the holy trinity of leadership framework, talent review and succession planning holistically for the organization to have an impactful leadership development program?
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