Succession Planning

Identifying & Developing Top Talent for Critical Roles

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“We hired LSA Global to help our long-term client identify root causes and develop an action plan for improving their leadership bench strength in face of high attrition and a changing marketplace. LSA’s succession planning expertise was a 10-out-of-10.

Their recommendations in the areas of attracting and recruiting the right talent, hiring and promoting the best talent, employee development, performance management, knowledge management and succession planning were right on target. I would recommend LSA to anyone looking to take their talent management practices to the next level.”
Director | Risk Advisory Services | Global Audit, Tax and Consulting Firm

Successful organizations make sure that they have the right people in the right positions to propel the business forward.  That includes building internal bench strength, filling the talent pipeline, and being prepared for planned and unplanned personnel changes. Done right, succession planning should be the fastest, cheapest and most reliable way to get well-qualified talent into open positions.

Unfortunately, very few companies have an effective or strategic succession planning process.

Succession planning is a critical component of an overall talent management strategy which aims to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent to execute the business strategy in a way that aligns with the organizational culture.

Succession planning focuses on identifying and developing internal talent with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the organization. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees through effective development of the high-potential employees, so that they are prepared to assume leadership roles as they become available. Done right, succession planning helps build the bench strength to ensure the long-term health, growth and stability of an organization.

Effective succession planning typically includes five major steps:

1.  Identify Key Metrics to Move
Succession planning projects should start with clearly defined, relevant, meaningful, and agreed-to success metrics that align with the overall business and talent strategies.  That means fully engaging your stakeholders to get the proper level of buy-in and alignment compared to other business priorities.

Typical stakeholders include the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, the Chief People Officer and the Head of Talent, Senior Executives, front-line managers, and employees.

2.  Define Critical and Strategic Jobs – Now and in the Future
Once success metrics have been defined, it is time to identify your most critical and strategic roles to ensure success today and in the future based upon your strategic business plan and key assumptions about the future.  The goal is to get clear agreement and alignment about the critical few difference-making roles.

3.  Define Core Capabilities – Now and in the Future
Once you have agreement on your most critical and strategic jobs, the next step is to clearly define the most important current and future competencies, skills, knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, and experiences necessary to succeed in those roles.  Once again, less is more in this stage.  Look for the critical few that matter most for your unique situation, not an exhaustive list.

4.  Conduct a Talent Review
Based upon the metrics to move and the desired current and future competencies, the next step is to review your current talent and jobs to understand the performance, potential, aspirations, and issues with your current workforce and organizational structure.

The objective is to identify talent and structure strengths and weaknesses, spot and groom high potentials early, mitigate retention risks, and establish talent pools by levels based on the strategic strengths of the organization.

5.  Create a Succession Plan
After you have mapped your current and future talent gaps, it is time to create and execute a succession plan for consistently identifying and developing targeted internal talent with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the organization.  This includes ensuring that you create structured development plans and curated development experiences to truly prepare your talent for the future.

Targeted development plays a critical role in succession planning and often gets overlooked or is not fully implemented.

The entire succession planning program should be reviewed and adjusted (typically annually) in concert with the overall business and talent strategic planning processes.

Ask us about Pay-for-Performance options and how to move the leadership metrics that you care most about.  Typical metrics that we move include:

  • Sales revenue, margin, win rate, portfolio mix, deal size, and sales cycle.
  • Customer acquisition, loyalty, growth, and satisfaction.
  • Leadership execution effectiveness of key corporate strategies.
  • Employee attraction, development, performance, engagement and retention.
  • Project cost, quality, and time.

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LSA’s approach has certainly brought value to Knight Ridder Digital. They were laser focused on our goal and determined to meet all of our Leadership development program needs. Their flexibility and commitment were keys in making our program successful.

Dipik Rai
Director of Marketing

We reviewed the top Leadership Development offerings and selected LSA’s 12-month Leadership Program based upon the value and systemic approach. The feedback on the program, approach, and results was phenomenal. While other programs may be better known, they were more theoretical and did not compare in terms of practicality, quality, and results.

Stacey Porter
Senior Manager Learning and Development

Roche

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

We value our relationship with LSA Global. They focus on understanding our business situation and helping us succeed. LSA continues to deliver top quality consulting and leadership solutions that are highly customized for our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource to anyone looking to greatly improve the skills of their leadership, management, and project teams.

Bonnie S. Olson
Vice President of Human Resources

LSS

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people. LSA custom designed an impactful management curriculum to help upskill our key managers and leaders. We consider LSA to be our trusted learning and development partner and a valued extension of our team.

Lisa Bruun
SVP Human Resources

Ellie Mae

Having tripled in size and recently merged, LSA helped our executive team to increase our level of strategic alignment, to solidify our new direction, and to push our agency forward. As we look to rapidly scale, the clear, actionable, and critical few strategic moves combined with how we differentiate ourselves to our top accounts and target clients has really set us on a great path to success. This is exactly what we needed to get to the next level.

Matt Britton
CEO

LSA helped us with leadership development by designing a solution to match our unique needs and culture. It was such a huge success and received rave reviews. I would highly recommend LSA to help take leaders and managers to the next level.

Karen King, SPHR
Manager, Human Resources

Alliance Data

Thank you for a great leadership development session today. The facilitator was brilliant. The team got a lot out of it (as did I). I believe it will help us create an even higher performance culture by ensuring we have a common understanding of how to create higher performance and work toward clear and common strategic goals.

Simon Jefferson
Managing Director

AKQA

We have had a very beneficial partnership with LSA. Their recent Leadership Development Program helped us to identify, develop, and retain top leaders. It was instrumental in helping take our company and our key people to the next level. I would recommend them to anyone looking to truly develop and retain top talent.

Steve Janowsky
Vice President of Operations

Proxicom

Great job in designing the Mergers and Acquisition strategy session for our global leadership team. The session was excellent. I gained additional insight on the importance of the role of HR regarding strategy, culture, and people in Mergers and Acquisitions.

Gloria Veon
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Fujitsu

LSA is an excellent training outsource partner! They listen to our needs, are responsive and work at a pace that keeps up with ours. We have found LSA to bring strategic and innovative solutions to meet our business problems by partnering effectively with our staff. I consider them to be an external extension of our team.

Wendy Chinn
Sr. Director, Global Sales Enablement

It was a challenge to find a consultant with an approach to performance improvement that fit our unique culture and style. We were pleasantly surprised to discover LSA’s depth of expertise in the fields of motivation, developmental coaching, performance management, and measurement.

LSA seamlessly integrated those components without our folks feeling like the intervention was forced. They understood what we were trying to accomplish, helped us clarify our objectives, and created a solid, refreshing approach that quickly got us moving and engaged at all levels across the organization.  Overall, I couldn’t be happier that we found a true strategy and implementation partner in LSA.

Doug Hansen
President and Director

Redwood Trust

LSA consistently delivers for me and my team.  Recently they demonstrated the criticality for executives to look beyond current ethics topics and focus on applying fundamental values in everything they do to demonstrate true leadership. They successfully delivered in two hours what most leadership development facilitators would spend an entire day trying to communicate.

Nick Voyvodich, SPHR
HR Manager

Fujitsu

You have become our premier change leadership strategic partner. Your expertise in the human side of change is unparalleled and enabled our company to successfully implement our ERP Solution under challenging and ever-changing circumstances.

Ted Ramlet
CIO & SVP

McKesson

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