- By Michele Ridella
Our world is moving quickly, and as leaders, there are times where we feel we can barely keep up. New technologies, changes in regulations, varying customer demands, and the usual myriad of challenges impacting our business occur almost daily. While we spend large amounts of energy focused on these specific challenges, one that often gets overlooked, while equally important to our business continuity, is succession planning.
We continuously hire employees into our organizations, and somewhere in that mix of new talent and experiences are potential future leaders of our business. Yet their true abilities and aspirations are yet to be discovered. Yes, we have nine-block exercises, performance reviews, and other mechanisms to track people’s performance. But do we evaluate what metrics the leaders of our organization should be looking for in our talent pool as we consider the future of our businesses?
Such reviews for succession analysis start with a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your current leadership team. Consider the following questions:
- Who on the leadership team operates with a sense of ownership?
- Which leaders’ team seems to operate effectively and efficiently, regardless of the business conditions?
- What changes are happening organizationally and how will these impact the current business structure and skill set makeup?
- Is our business in start-up mode, growing organically within the industry, implementing new or disruptive technologies, acquiring other business, or perhaps a combination of these modes?
This first step to gaining a deeper understanding of our current and future leadership teams, as well as their ability to adapt in this transformational world, starts with conducting behavioral assessments. PRADCO’s behavioral assessments measure the following:
- Personal and professional motivators
- Leadership style
- Work approach
- Interpersonal styles and skills
- Decision-making attributes
Leaders that have proven resilient through difficult times are often effective change agents and resourceful problem solvers. Organizations that benchmark leadership behaviors critical to current and future success are the ones best able to weather downturns and overtake the competition.
Benchmarking effective leadership behaviors is accomplished by conducting behavioral assessments on each of the top-performing leaders. This data can then be used to identify the most critical competencies required for continued success, independent of business climate or evolving technologies.
These benchmarks can help develop leaders who are not performing as well as desired and be used as the roadmap for identifying future leaders. By understanding the most effective leadership and work styles, abilities to develop relationships, problem-solving capabilities and optimal levels of ambition, we can then better evaluate and develop the leaders of today and tomorrow.
Blending behavioral assessment with succession planning is more than an exercise that we conduct annually. It is a vital planning process that keeps you focused on leaders that will take your organization into the next generation.