6M | Preparing leaders for the next decade: New year, new challenges, new leadership development strategy
As we embark on this new decade, organizations will be tasked to respond to new challenges, like globalization, radical advances in disruptive technology, and increasing demand for responsible business practices. At the same time, work and workers will continue to become more diverse, more competitive, more complex and more difficult to predict. To respond to these challenges, businesses must look to their talent to respond to these challenges, playing out every CEO’s beloved saying that “talent is our most important asset.” In this increasingly complex world of work, it has never been as important to accurately select, develop and retain the best people to lead through these new challenges.
Meeting New Challenges with Existing Talent
In the past, the finding the leaders to solve new business challenges would often be found with innovative hiring strategies. But in today’s “war for talent,” the talent to lead through new business issues must be identified, grown, harvested and retained from inside our organizations, or organizations risk losing their competitive edge.
For HR leaders, this means the challenges of the new decade must be met with a strategy that will clearly define and quantify the vital skills for leaders for the years ahead, and then deploy a reliable process to identify, develop and retain the best people to lead the organization into the future. Furthermore, this process must be in place at all levels of the leadership pipeline, and not just prepare a select few employees for key roles or executive positions.
Strategic Leadership Development
When identifying and growing leadership talent from inside organizations, sadly, much of the typical talent and performance data that HR leaders need to make decisions is poorly trusted. Data from talent reviews and performance ratings are used to calculate bench strength and inform promotion decision, but this data is at best biased, and at worst incorrect. Performance ratings executed by managers are unreliable because they rarely reflect actual performance, they are executed by poorly trained raters, or they have been corrupted by the impact of bonus schemes or merit raises. Moreover, this typical data rarely tells us much about employees’ potential to grow new skills and into future roles. This leaves businesses with an incomplete and potentially inaccurate set of data with which to make critical people decisions.
Most researchers and practitioners of leadership development agree that identifying and then developing critical leadership competence is a balance of scientific method and executive buy-in, which is typically absent if simply relying on typical talent review and performance data To achieve a strategically focused and effective approach to leadership development, talent leaders need to help the organization answer key questions at each of the 6 steps in Pinsight’s Strategic Leadership Development Process:
Key Question: What are the most important competencies that leaders need to be successful, to be responsive and to ensure we are competitive in our market?
Key Question: How will we ensure understanding and commitment to our competency model from all levels of the organization?
Key Question: What tools will provide us with reliable, responsible and valid data on the strength of our leadership pipeline right now, and potential to close our gaps?
Key Question: Who should be moved to make the most of our current talent strengths; who’s ready to step up in to leadership now, who can be ready soon, and which teams should be re-balanced for optimal effectiveness?
Key Question: Which skills gaps can we close with development programs, coaching, and feedback, and which skills will need to be acquired from outside the organization?
Key Question: When lining up performance outcomes and our competency model, which skills are predicting leadership success as new challenges emerge?
To navigate these new challenges in the years ahead, it is imperative for businesses and talent leaders to implement a strategic leadership development process that answers the questions in the 6 steps above. This strategically focused and balanced approach to leadership development will help them find the best and brightest from within their organizations, and build them into responsive and successful business leaders for the years and challenges ahead.‹ Previous PostNext Post ›