Succession Planning: Developing a Highly Effective Leadership Pipeline

Leadership Succession PlanningWe’re approaching a crisis point in succession planning and building leadership depth. The 2008 financial crash caused many leaders approaching retirement to put off their plans as their retirement funds sank. Organizations delayed or stopped leadership development as they switched into survival mode.

Organizations are now waking up to an urgent new focus on building leadership capacity:

  • 70% of executives think their organization lacks adequate bench strength
  • 97% of organizations report serious leadership gaps, 40% say these are severe
  • 65 to 75% of current senior management will be eligible to retire by 2020
  • Of leaders hired from the outside, it is estimated that 40% are pushed out or leave 18 months after joining an organization

In his Forbes column, “Developing a Leadership Pipeline That Works”, Jack Zenger describes these core elements to building leadership pipelines that actually work:

  1. A simple, non-bureaucratic system
  2. The pipeline is owned by the senior leadership team
  3. Managers become significantly more involved in people development
  4. The greatest pay-offs from a good competency model is its ability to predict future success and to aid in the development of leaders
  5. Pipelines rely on multiple inputs

Jack very correctly points out that:

“a leadership pipeline is more than turning a valve and hoping something will gush out. The pipeline demands the right culture in which to flourish. It takes time to build and to fill.”

Jack and his partner Joe Folkman delivered an information-packed 60 minute webinar on Developing a Leadership Pipeline last week addressing these crucial questions:

  1. What’s the likely leadership scenario for your organization in the next 36 to 48 months?
  2. How can you know who in your organization will be ready to assume leadership responsibilities?
  3. How can you make leadership development a conscious, deliberate, and sustained strategy in your organization?
  4. What has Zenger Folkman done to support other organizations as they build their leadership pipeline?

The webinar is now archived and available for viewing on demand here.

Leadership development up, down, and across the organization is a central theme of Zenger Folkman’s Leadership Summit in beautiful Park City, Utah (30 minutes from Salt Lake City airport). Hear from Kevin Wilde, VP Organization Effectiveness and Chief Learning Officer at General Mills. Learn from the groundbreaking leadership development approaches used by The Gap (Eric Severson, SVP Global Talent Solutions, and Heather Robsahm, Director of Leadership Development), Safeway (Dan Cousins, VP Learning and Leadership Development), and Symantec (Sandra Hunter, Sr. Director, Leadership and Employee Development — featured in Symantec Leaders Show Extraordinary Results).

Click here for details and registration.


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For over three decades, Jim Clemmer’s keynote presentations, workshops, management team retreats, seven bestselling books, articles, and blog have helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The Clemmer Group is the Canadian strategic partner of Zenger Folkman, an award-winning firm best known for its unique evidence-driven, strengths-based system for developing extraordinary leaders and demonstrating the performance impact they have on organizations. Check out www.clemmergroup.com for upcoming webinars and workshops.

Website: http://www.clemmergroup.com

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