Succession Planning

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Best Practice Succession Planning & Talent Management
Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage In Human Capital Capability

Challenges and Solutions

Christopher Dawson, Ph.D

Dawson Consulting Group
830 Covington Road, Suite A Belmont, California 94002 650.773.2925 cdawson@DawsonConsult.com www.DawsonConsult.com

SUCCESSION PLANNING & TALENT MANAGEMENT A Dawson Consulting Group White Paper ©Chris Dawson 2007 All Rights Reserved

The Time is NOW Succession planning is necessary to ensure business continuity and create competitive advantage in the human capital war for talent. In the days before strategic human resources, ‘succession planning’ meant ‘disaster contingency’ planning for the unexpected: Who will fill this slot if it becomes vacant? In recent years, the concept has grown to include a longer time horizon and is the ‘glue’ that holds together several critical human capital processes under a ‘Talent Management’ umbrella. The best practice in 2007around talent management relies on a constellation of interlinked human capital processes that provide a steady stream of talent over time, creating the ’Leadership Pipeline’. What the statistical demographers have been saying since the early 1990’s is more dramatic with each passing year: there are simply not enough leaders to fill all of the positions that will be vacated by the currently departing generation of managers. That crisis will come to a peak in 2012 and continue, but is already evident. Like any external scarce resource, some companies will solve this problem sooner and more effectively than others, producing a competitive advantage. If you have not already considered the impact of these Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, you need to! • • • • Overall labor market availability is anticipated to be virtually static, at just 1.1% growth A significant 9% decline in prime age workers, aged 25-45 is forecast. An aging labor force, with the growth of the over-55 years group rising at 4 times that of overall labor availability. A progressive increase in women entering the workplace – up to 5% in 2012 – matched by a similar decline of men in the workplace.

In the current environment, ‘succession planning’ is a sub-process closely linked to other human capital optimization processes: i.e. culture shaping, talent selection, leadership development and career planning.

Dawson Consulting Group
830 Covington Road, Suite A Belmont, California 94002 650.773.2925 cdawson@DawsonConsult.com www.DawsonConsult.com

Talent Management with the Dawson Consulting Group Roundtable Based on continuing research and improvements over 20 years, Dawson Consulting Group has defined a powerful Talent Management suite of offerings that are customized to meet the unique needs of any organization. The centerpiece of the process is the Roundtable Talent Audit which is supported by the Career Planning Guide, Talent Map, Coaching Module, and Leadership Development sub-processes. 1. Roundtable Talent Audit: A basic first question is: What assets are in the portfolio? Both individually and collectively, what do we have? Embedded in this question is, of course, the goal of performing an accurate gap analysis to identify where there may be needed actions – again, both individually and collectively. Ultimately, the purpose of the talent audit is a first step assessment that precedes decision and resource allocation. Our research with dozens of companies, across many industries over twenty years has shown that executives frequently over- or under-estimate the actual talent they have based on insufficient or distorted information. Even in medium sized companies under $5 billion annual revenue, we have observed two common errors:  False-Positives. Direct superiors often over-value the capability of their own direct report successors. In part, because both superior and subordinate share the same ‘blind spots’ and bad habits. More importantly, there is the built in bias by the...
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