Three Success Factors For Your Succession Talent Review

Is it time for you to identify the future leaders of your business?  Do you need to be proactive about your leadership development needs?  One of the first steps to being proactive about leadership development is to do a talent review.  This is a systematic process for identifying high potential leaders in your business and for creating leadership development plans.  Here are three key success factors which will maximize the return on your talent review investment. 1)    Process Integrity – If you use a consistent process for identifying high potential leaders, you will have high quality and reliable talent data.  This means that you will know at a glance which people want to progress in your business, people’s readiness is for progression and where your biggest leadership gaps are.  Armed with this information, you can do a risk analysis which tells you where you need to invest your leadership dollars and where it makes sense to cultivate internal talent versus external candidates.  You will also know who is a retention risk.  There is no point in overly investing in people who do not plan on staying with your business.

2)    Talent Review Attendance – If you want the talent review to work there are some critical people who need to attend.  You need to have an HR presence or Leadership consultant who can coordinate the process and gather the critical information, and you need the head of business units and the direct manager to prepare for the talent review and to participate.  Without these key people present, you will not have continuity, accountability, or good results.  According to a recent study by the Bersin and Associations and the Center for Creative Leadership (2009), only 25% of companies believe they have the right people present in their talent reviews.

3)    Business Strategy and Career Alignment – Leadership development goals need to satisfy two key stakeholders: 1) the individual leader and 2) the business needs.  Discussions in the talent review need to focus on what positions will drive business results, and what skills and capabilities will be needed in the future.  Once you know this, you can then start to build individual development plans which satisfy people’s career goals.  If people do not want to stay with your business, or have no interest in developing into leadership positions, you will be wasting your resources on these people.  It is better to face the facts and look at this data honestly, rather than do leadership development just for the sake of it.  By facing the facts, you can create a succession strategy that truly minimizes future risks to the business and addresses leadership gaps in creative ways.