Do you want to differentiate your organization as best in class?
One way to do so is through developing leaders at all levels. Here's what it takes!
Are you only focused on developing your star performers? BEWARE!! -- You might just be missing out! Today, identifying and developing leaders involves more than just focusing your energy on the obvious "star" performers. It's true -- these key contributors who are groomed for increasingly responsible roles might well guide the success of your organization, but an organization's success is ultimately best guided by the ability to engage and motivate ALL employees by requiring that everyone in the organization assume a leadership role. Just imagine if you had an organization full of leaders at all levels. Oh, to think what you could become!
Are you thinking about the needs of your organization 10 years from now? Of course you're recruiting and retaining key talent that helps with the current work of the organization, but what about an organization plan for what could and should be next? People and teams capable of envisioning and driving progress toward the future will not allow your organization to become obsolete so ensure future-thinkers permeate your organization. Let me also caution you as you review your current succession plans. Do not focus on preparing successors to assume current roles because the things that make your organization relevant today are not necessarily the things that will make your organization relevant in the future. The knowledge, skills, and abilities of today's leaders may not be what are needed tomorrow. Instead, future leaders will need to be able to anticipate and deal with the organization's challenges a decade from now.
Are you requiring ongoing learning and development of every position at every level? Unfortunately many organizations are missing out on the opportunity to benefit from those other than the chosen few that have been selected for greater levels of development and responsibility. According to a January 2012 report from Bersin and Associates, "Building the Borderless and Agile Workplace," high performing organizations are 3 times more likely to have a strong learning culture and hence, significantly outperform their peers. These organizations don't just emphasize learning for their high potential employees either. Instead, learning is a part of the culture for the entire organization.
Do your employees understand how their work is connected to your organization's success? Employee development and learning efforts must be focused and help drive the short and long-term success of the organization. In order to do this, your organization must ensure:
- the organization's mission is clear
- the organization's strategic priorities are tied to the mission and metrics should be developed to determine success
- every part of the organization is clearly linked to the strategic priorities
- every employee understands how their ongoing learning and development will drive the future success of the organizatoin
Do you know where to look for future leaders? A rapidly changing, more diverse, global economy requires that we consider where we look for emerging leaders in the future. As you look for these future leaders, you may also need to change your leadership model so that it includes individuals and skill sets not typically valued in the past.
According to "The 2011 Best Companies for Leadership Survey" by the Hay Group, some of the top companies for leadership have these things in common:
- 100% of the Best Companies let all employees behave like leaders
- 100% of the Best Companies manage a pipeline of qualified leadership candidates
- 95% of leaders at Best Companies are culturally savvy and able to be effective with diverse teams
- In Best Companies, 95% of senior leaders take time to actively develop others
The knowledge, skills, and abilities needed of our leaders today will probably not be those needed in the future. And ongoing learning and development of the entire workforce is essential because learning and development is not just for the rising stars! You must build an expectation for all employees to be leaders and to understand how their position is tied to your organization's success. And rethink where you look for future leaders. Traditional leadership pipelines may not be the most appropriate for finding future leaders in an increasingly diverse and complex global workplace. If you do these things, you will be on your way to developing a leadership development strategy that will ensure your organization is best in class!