Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019 - 9
HOW T&D CHAMPIONS
ROBUST SUCCESSION PLANS
There is a ton of research on how failing
to plan for succession has a terrible
impact on organizations and how
millennial talent craves development
and growth. Knowing this is not usually
enough for organizations to plan ahead.
We in training and development (T&D)
have a holistic approach to talent and
an appreciation of soft skills. This is
our opportunity to gain a seat at the
table and impact change that drives
organizational success. Training and
development is a tool in the leader's
arsenal that helps engage, retain and
grow talent, and mitigate the risk of no
successor (or a poor one).
Mitigation is focused on identification of
successors by intentional and effective
development and mentoring. The
most common barrier to developing
successors is the insecurity or inability
of a leader to create one. We have a job
We must get leaders over the insecurity
of creating successors. Historically,
baby boomers and Gen Xers worry that
millennials and Gen Z will replace them.
These kids were born sitting at the
computer and they tend to be better at
innovative thinking on the fly. However,
we the elders, have a ton of knowledge
to share. Sir Francis Bacon told us
"knowledge is power" and Spiderman's
Uncle Ben told us that "with great power
comes great responsibility."
We in training and development have
a responsibility to change minds and
create more effective leaders. We need
to help drive the understanding that
two (or more) people can be good at
the same thing, or that we can all be
good at different things and drive our
organizations forward as we learn and
grow together. We need to value our
differences and recognize that multiple
styles and approaches can be effective.
Diversity of thought creates stronger
and better teams with more potential.
BETTER TEAMS WITH
A successor does not need to have the
exact skill set as the prior leader. Let's
change culture, learn about appreciating
different styles, and drive toward
common goals. Let's value balanced
teams and not duplicate weaknesses by
hiring a "mini-me." Let's have a funeral
for the old way and focus on creating
learnings that identify alignment with
the organization's core values and
strategic growth plan.
Let's focus on the differences and build
from there. Here is what we can do.
* Work with HR business partners to
understand the state of talent and
identify strengths and weaknesses.
Let's partner and create development
plans in concert with the nine box
diagnostic development tool.
* Map alignments between organizational
programs targeting preferred areas
of impact. These are the things the
organization wants the employees
to do well. We can help solidify the
how and why behind the what, and
build programming that supports
the structure. We can help translate
measureable contexts and
leaders how to assess them.
* Help leaders appreciate and create
learning environments valuing best
practice, knowledge sharing and
competency alignments creating
benchmarks that show a return
on investment over time. Learning
cultures have already been proven to
increase employee engagement and
that increases productivity as well as
the likelihood of retention.
* Assist in individual development plan
creation, assessment development
and behavioral style assessment.
* Create programs that map and tailor
technical vs. soft skill gaps: coaching
connector leaders, etc.
* Lead action learning programs where
people identify and work on real
business problems with a facilitator.
T&D professionals align paths to meet
needs from vision casting to emotional
intelligence. If we build robust
succession planning into the overall
talent management structure, then
we can effectively manage the risk of
a skills gap. We must have a seat at the
leadership table. We must help leaders
understand that hiring for technical
skills over soft skills might be a recipe for
a slow brewing storm.
Loren Sanders is a senior advisor of learning
and communications on the strategy
team at CVS Health. She is also an adjunct
faculty member at Lake Forest Graduate
School of Management where she teaches
strategic talent management. Email Loren.
T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - THE ROLE OF L+D IN SUCCESSION PLANNING 20 19 I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019