LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

Are Talent Development and Succession Planning the Same and What Does My Leadership Team Need?

By Leadership Resources 04/15/2022

Competent leadership lies at the heart of every successful organization. That said, strong leaders don’t appear out of thin air. While some individuals display a propensity for leadership at an early stage, their skills must be honed and directed towards the business’s long-term goals. When properly managed, a company’s top talent paves the way for its future, taking over roles left vacant by previous leaders who have moved on – two terms describe this larger process: talent development and succession planning. But while these concepts are closely related, they’re not one in the same. Understanding the similarities and differences between these two processes will help you figure out how to approach the ongoing development of your leadership team.

What Is Talent Development?

Put simply, talent development (also dubbed talent management) refers to an organization’s various processes dedicated to the assessment and advancement of their most promising employees. This process begins at the recruitment and hiring stages, wherein existing leaders seek the best candidates for particular roles. Once a new hire is on board, efforts must be made to retain this talent, especially in a highly competitive market. Talent retention and leadership development go hand in hand – when employees are incentivized to grow within an organization, they’re more likely to stick with it. There’s always a risk associated with talent development, of course, as this process also makes your employees more attractive to other employers. Generally speaking, the potential benefits of continuous talent development and management outweigh the risks.

What Is Succession Planning?

Whereas talent development takes a close look at individuals, succession planning first takes a close look at specific roles. Once key roles have been identified, current leaders must consider which qualities are required for filling said roles when they become vacant, and which employees are prime candidates (internal or external) for taking on these responsibilities when the time comes. If you’re wondering, “Why is succession planning important?” consider the pitfalls of losing a C-level leader without an adequate substitute for an extended period of time. Proper succession planning ensures that every vital position maintains strong leadership, securing the organization’s legacy.

How Talent Development and Succession Planning Interact

Succession planning and talent development are unique processes, but they’re inextricably linked. Without a thorough leadership development plan in place, you’ll have a hard time filling existing and new leadership roles in your organization. Likewise, without the incentive structure inherent in succession planning (i.e., major promotions and structural changes), your top talent may feel less motivated to grow within your company and stick around for the long haul. In other words, the best approach to both talent development and succession planning is one that understands the connection between them and facilitates a structure that cultivates leadership that propels the business forward.

Determining the Needs of Your Leadership Team and Organization

Different leaders within your organization’s leadership team will have different ambitions and needs. Budding leaders still have plenty to learn, but they also have a lot to teach their more seasoned peers. Leaders who have been around for some time might be preparing to retire, and others might be seeking employment elsewhere. Figuring out what your leadership team and your business needs requires strong communication and transparency. Leaders should promptly know when a vacancy is on the horizon and whether or not they’re in the running to take over the position. Everyone should also be kept in the loop regarding the organization’s mission and direction moving forward. And talent at all stages should continue to receive first-rate training and development to prepare them for whatever the future may hold.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease obstacles and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning Read More

Top 3 Ways to Start Business Succession Planning Before It’s Detrimental to Team Members

By Leadership Resources 02/15/2022
Group of women on a team

What to Know About Starting Succession Planning

What Is Succession Planning?

The most enduring organizations see many people come and go over time. These companies have remained successful for so long thanks to one generation passing the torch to the next. Succession planning describes this strategy of preparing key employees for leadership roles as existing leaders move toward other opportunities or retirement. You can find many succession planning examples by browsing the histories of many major companies. Properly planning to fill vacancies in your business is essential for ensuring an organization’s legacy. However, succession planning features a number of potential pitfalls that can lead to stagnation and frustration. As such, deploying the proper strategy is crucial. Let’s explore the top three ways to start  business succession planning before it becomes detrimental to your team members and your organization as a whole.

1. Maintain Open Communication with Your Team

Transparency is always important when managing a team. While there’s always room for some discretion, withholding important information can damage trust and reduce your ability to plan for business succession. Simply put, your team should know when existing positions are preparing to open up. Not everyone in your organization will be a strong candidate for the role, of course. That said, failing to inform your team might cause certain high-potential employees to seek other opportunities, as they might feel they have no further room to grow within your business. By letting your people know what changes are on the horizon, you further motivate your team to maintain high achievement and consider their long-term involvement – this is good for morale, productivity, and longevity.

2. Remain Flexible

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for succession planning. Not only is every organization and role unique – each role within your business may be subject to change. For instance, an existing role might no longer be necessary due to changes in the market or technology; conversely, brand new roles may need to be created for similar reasons. Moreover, a high-potential team member might end up leaving before they can take over a role – without a backup plan, your organization can be left in a challenging position. So, if a leader is planning to leave in the near future, your succession plan might be more complex than replacing that one individual and role. Your plan should be flexible enough to adapt for these potential changes. As a general rule, reevaluate your current succession plan at least twice a year. Such a dynamic process deserves periodic updates.

3. Continually Invest in Leadership Development

You can’t implement a business succession plan if your people aren’t ready to take on new opportunities and challenges. By actively engaging your team in ongoing leadership development, you help ensure that the right people will be ready to take on new roles when the time comes. As mentioned earlier, not every team member will be capable of or interested in filling vacant positions down the road, but providing your entire organization with the tools required for leadership growth is essential for successful succession planning.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease obstacles and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning Read More

Preparing the Next Leadership Team for Succession

By Leadership Resources 04/13/2019
Leadership Resources Preparing The Next Leadership Team for Succession

In the business world, you’ll find many passionate leaders who seem unlikely to ever leave the company. But our time here is limited, and life has a way of throwing curveballs at us whether we like them or not. It’s simply a fact that if you own a business, one day you and your fellow leaders will have to leave it, whether due to age, health concerns, or personal reasons. Of course, just because you’ll eventually exit the company doesn’t mean the enterprise should shut down too. If you want your business’ legacy to thrive, you’ll have to focus your efforts on succession planning.

What You Need to Know About Succession Planning

What is Succession Planning?

Right now, you may be asking yourself, “what is succession planning?” Simply put, succession planning is how a company secures its future by hiring, promoting, and/or training individuals to take on leadership roles as current leaders leave the enterprise. You might think of it as a ceremonial passing of the torch. As one team leaves, a new team steps in to carry on the business’ mission. Without proper succession planning, a business will struggle to continue its operation, as there will be no one available or remotely prepared to take on these vital leadership roles.

How Do Companies Develop Succession Plans?

The importance of succession planning should be abundantly clear. However, successfully crafting and implementing a succession planning strategy is a different story altogether. Every company differs in size, scope, location, and potential leadership candidates, meaning each organization must create a plan that suits its individual needs. Still, there are certain general guidelines every business should follow when forming a strategy for succession planning.

Start Early

The sooner you consider your exit strategy, the better. You won’t be shipping off tomorrow, of course, but by being ahead of the curve you can outline a plan for how to go about finding optimal replacements. This head start also allows you to start focusing on the leadership development of your current staff members. It takes time to identify the right candidates, let alone train and evaluate them thoroughly enough for the new role. By starting early, you have more time to ensure the right people are on board.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Clearly Identify Roles, Duties, and Vision

One of the major challenges in succession planning is knowing and clearly communicating what roles and duties need to be fulfilled and how they will help steer the company into the future. If you started the business, you and your partners might know these things inherently. But when it’s time to bring new blood into the fold, you need to flex your leadership communication skills to get everyone on the same page. You might start including potential candidates in more closed-door meetings to help them gain insight into the company’s operations, for instance.

Consider the Plan When Hiring

If you already have a solid team, you’ll have an easier time finding the right people to take over in your absence. However, you’ll likely have to hire some new faces every now and then. With a solid succession planning model, you can hire new recruits with this template in mind. In other words, you’ll be able to hone in on specific traits and leadership qualities present in high-quality employees. Your succession plan should inform every hiring decision you make so you don’t waste any time finding and training the best people for the role.

When your business is growing, the last thing you might think about is leaving. However, failing to consider an exit strategy is a mistake that may cost the legacy of your organization. With proper succession planning, you can develop leaders within the enterprise and ensure the continued development of your business.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

Schedule A Call To Learn More Read More

SCHEDULE A CALL TO LEARN MORE

Let us help you achieve your vision. A member of our team will respond within 24 business hours to arrange an initial discovery session with one of our growth consultants.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.