Succession Planning

succession planning that works

Identifying & Developing Top Talent for Critical Roles

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Succession Planning that Works

“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

A recent study by LinkedIn found that 80% of CEOs are worried about the availability of key skills required to execute their strategies.  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.  According to research by SHL, only 15% of companies believe they have enough qualified successors for critical positions.  McKinsey research found that 27-46% of executive transitions are viewed as failures or disappointments after two years.  Companies report feeling forced to go outside for key talent more often than they would like because they do not have sustainable leadership pipeline.

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 that are highly customized for each unique situation:

  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, Chief People Officer, 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 using proven tools like leadership simulation assessments to understand the personality, cognitive, learning, motivation, leadership, functional, and technical performance and potential aspirations and issues with your current workforce and organizational structure.

    The objective of an org. talent review 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.

  3. 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.  You will know you are headed in the right direction when you have the right talent in place for now (“ready now candidates”) and in the future (“talent pipeline”) to execute your strategy in a way that makes sense

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 cycle time.
  • 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.

Related Information

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Diane White
Executive Director, Head of Product Development

BioMarin LSA Global Biotech Client

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

LSA helped us with leadership development by designing a solution to match our unique needs and culture.

It was a huge success. I would highly recommend LSA to help take leaders and managers to the next level.

Karen King, SPHR
Manager, Human Resources

Alliance Data

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 and would recommend LSA to anyone looking to align strategies and cultures.

Gloria Veon
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Fujitsu

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goals.

Their leadership, management, and sales expertise has been invaluable.  They think strategically and provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix.

They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Director of Merchandising

LSA has been a tremendous asset at my current company and my past company.

As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide impactful leadership and management development expertise. LSA consistently does that for me.

The tools and practices are crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply on the job.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

We consider LSA Global the top outsourced learning and development partner.

We work closely with LSA to customize leadership and management development programs to meet our growing business needs.

I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver high quality and practical learning solutions for their leaders and managers.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

The customized leadership styles and coaching program was the best training that I have ever attended. The facilitators were phenomenal. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge coupled with compassionate and caring styles. I’d highly recommend this leadership training program to any manager, director, or executive looking for a life changing leadership program.

Shoaleh Ghaffari
Director, HR

Cutera

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want and need – which is not an easy task.

As always, they design and deliver outstanding leadership development results and high quality management training programs that totally align with our unique business and talent strategies!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner helping us to build leadership and management capacity while strategically investing in our people.

LSA’s flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans and talent management strategies.

Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate high impact Management Training Programs has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

Our relationship with LSA is extremely valuable.

We worked closely with LSA to customize critical Management Training Programs to meet our unique business needs.

I’d recommend LSA to any company looking for first class and high quality leadership and management training assessment, design, delivery, and follow-through.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

LSA worked with our Executive Leadership Team to help create strategic clarity and alignment as we look to increase our growth rate and unlock innovation.  They masterfully handled very complex, challenging, and high stakes leaders, decisions, and cultural nuances to help us identify what matters most and move toward one unified direction.

Their practical, straightforward, and client-centric approach was refreshing.  I highly recommend them to any executive team looking to get aligned to create even higher performance.  They are lights out awesome!

Patrick Resk
Chief Financial Officer, Partner

Porter Novelli logo LSA Global

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

Thanks for your incredible patience and passion working with our leadership team to create alignment.

Your leadership and executive coaching services have been one of the most effective I’ve ever known.

Debbie Von Raesfeld
Director and HR Business Partner

AMD

As a high growth agency with cutting edge talent, we hired LSA Global to help clarify our strategy and work with our executive leadership team to help implement strategic changes in a way that made sense for our unique culture.

The work was so successful that we also hired them to coach our key leaders. LSA has been instrumental in helping us transition to a new leadership team and triple revenue.  In this age of useless consultants, I highly recommend their practical and business-oriented approach to strategy, culture, and talent.

David Bentley
General Manager

AKQA

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