The 1960's called; they want their Succession Planning binder back. When you think of bringing together all of the succession planning data collected on talent review forms does it make you want to fall from a building on Madison Avenue like Don Draper? Surely, Don would have looked quite favorably on a talent management system that gave him solid ground to promote Pete to Partner, and that would provide an eager Peggy with a specific career road map. Unfortunately, the vintage talent development process mostly consisted of discussions over cigarettes and martinis at the Old Boys' Club. If succession data even existed in hard copy, it certainly was not made readily accessible to leadership in the rigorous, networked, and easily digestible format it is today.
Developing a systematic process to gather, maintain, analyze, and apply succession planning data need not be a daunting task in modern times. Indeed, many organizations are beginning to leverage broad-based Talent Management tools that are available in cloud-based Succession Planning Software systems. While the technology starved Mad Men may have gotten away with on-the-fly succession decisions sans hard data, the increasing availability of technology-based solutions combined with the impending talent shortage necessitate careful people and position planning for today's organizations.
Talent assessments that incorporate competencies are particularly effective at identifying and building upon those behaviors that are key drivers of high performance. For example, a high flyer like Don Draper has perfected his creative processes through a combination of intense working sessions balanced by creative outlets (e.g. frequent daydreaming on the couch in his office) that together drive his innovation. Although his exact formula is out of date and would likely be met with much skeptisism in today's business culture, the power of talent assessment is that the measurements are so unique to each organization. Perhaps the Google or 3M Innovation Time Off programs are quantified quite similarly in their Succession Planning software systems.
Leveraging Succession Planning technology answers these questions and more:
- What critical skills and behaviors drive high performance in your organization?
- How can these key competencies be incorporated into your talent assessment tools to help build a complete picture of talent in the organization?
- Are you effectively selecting mentors and leveraging other development resources such that high performers build skills in these critical areas?
For more on cloud-based Succession Planning, check out our Ban the Binder blog series.