HR and Line Management executives around the world are struggling to manage the Butterfly Effect while trying to meet the conflicting challenges of identifying and developing a continuous pool of top talent – all while reducing risks and costs. But achieving a workforce with ready now successors in business is a difficult challenge.
HR departments are subject to confusing array of products, methodologies, strategies, executive demands and employee requests that require an organization to access varying data on demand. Knowing how to navigate and extract critical and up-to-date information for key decisions is impossible, and this can mean the difference between success and failure of an organization.
We have worked with many organizations and observed them transitioning from good to great because of small changes in their business that had rippling effects long-term. They understood that at some point in time the tides would change and decisions would be made on who to pass the reigns onto. In our last newsletter, “Succession Planning and the Butterfly Effect,” we referenced Apple’s unique approach to developing a company of successors. They don’t think of succession in-terms of developing the top 2% of leaders. Their goal is much more global: “to teach Apple employees how to think like Steve Jobs and make decisions he would make.”
More recently, the movie Contagion was released and its premise is basically the Butterfly Effect at its worst: an inauspicious cough at the beginning tragically leads to a global pandemic. Business leaders often deal with exit strategies reactively, with a replacement strategy. However, what about medical problems? We pray that nothing dire happens similar to Contagion, but health-related prognosis are on the rise especially among baby boomers and it can take a toll.
Several Fortune 500 organizations have experienced succession uncertainty. David Weidner, in The Wall Street Journal, graded companies with scores of A through F based on their succession plans: Bank of America (D), Berkshire Hathaway (C+), and Yahoo (F). Being caught off guard without a sound succession plan can put a company at high risk.
Have no fear! No matter what size organization you are, ‘Contagion’ can be avoided with a well-crafted Succession Plan. The first step is to create a process for how your organization will execute on a succession strategy. TalentGuard’s Succession Planning Framework serves as a model that you can adopt to kick-start your planning process. This Framework has been used successfully in organizations of all sizes, with and without the use of talent management technology.