Talent Management – It isn’t just about succession planning.
Many companies claim that they have a talent management strategy, when in fact, what they have is a contingency plan for replacing those occupying the top slots). Of course, succession planning is a critical component of any talent strategy, but the two are not synonymous.
Companies that are serious about talent management look across all levels and functions – they don’t just limit their time and finite resources to succession management.
Their approach is defined by three key distinctions:
- They balance the focus on “critical” positions and key players
- Their energy is directed at building a “pipeline” of a ready supply of leaders, rather than matching individuals with a specific future role
- They are careful not to treat all roles alike. They plan for the future security of “business critical” roles – those roles identified as adding unique value
If there is one rule of thumb that should guide your talent management efforts, its this: Your talent pipeline is only as strong as its weakest link. While there is no denying the importance of succession management, successful organisations need effective leaders at all areas and in all functional areas. If you are weak in one area of the pipeline, its likely to affect other areas of the organisation as well.
Building a strong talent pipeline is the most effective way to mitigate future risk, by ensuring that your organisation will have the leaders it needs to address future challenges.
Dont forget Mid Level Leaders
While there is a tremendous level of awareness that the need to focus on succession management and high potentials, organisations are increasingly acknowledging the need to develop mid-level leaders. As the critical link between the strategic level and the front lines, mid level leaders have an important, if overlooked, role in strategy execution.
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