There have been few advances or new approaches to succession planning since the introduction of the 9-box Performance Potential Matrix by the Boston Consulting Group into the GE succession planning process. Today the challenges organizations face is the ability to execute, not the lack of a successful methodology or technology. Research shows a correlation between organizations that excel in performance management and compensation decision making and those that are able to implement and execute successful succession planning. The key questions of succession planning are 1) Do I have enough talent to execute my strategy; and 2) Who should I invest in for the future and what actions should I take to accelerate those individuals development. Organizations are finding that the centerpiece of effective succession planning processes is the talent management review session. These sessions work when there has been ample preparation, candid discussions of the individual’s performance and potential, followed up by relentless actions to accelerate personal development and invest in the right people.
Over the years Les has taught succession planning in HR Planning Society workshops and has helped numerous clients implement successful programs. He began his learning at GE as a participant and manager in their succession planning process. He then went on to design, implement and execute effective succession planning at other organizations. Les excels in developing criteria to identify who to invest in and customizing criteria to meet the organizations business proposition and culture. He has become known as an expert for developing simple, straightforward, yet powerful techniques to identify development needs, followed by effective coaching of high-potential individuals.
Succession planning is more important than ever, especially since countless organizations face a bubble of key leaders entering retirement. The Conference Board and Business Week have both identified succession planning as one of the top three priorities of CEO’s for organizations.