Challenges to Succession Planning

In industry, there is a cliché that “successful companies look after their talent” and that “our leadership pipeline flows smoothly”. There are a glut of articles that discuss the need to have a succession plan in place, and acronyms about talent pools and bench strength appear in almost every HR publication released.

However, it is my belief that organisations should not only consider “talented people” to be those who are ready and able to assume the most senior and scarce positions in the organisation. Rather, I would suggest that every employee at any level in an organisation can be considered “talent” if they are not only suited to the role they occupy from a skills and experience point of view, but are in flow with the discretionary space inherent in the role, and the general theme of the work they are being asked to complete.

If this concept of talent is accepted, the challenge of managing a successful succession pipeline becomes multifaceted, as all employees can be considered part of the succession talent pool. This suggests that HR professionals will need to find a way to manage all employees, in order to guarantee that they are continually and timeously moved into roles which will keep them in flow with the decisions they need to make.

At BIOSS SA, our capability instruments are ideally suited to this challenge, because they allow us to not only identify where an employee is likely to be in flow both now and in the future, but when each transition to a different theme of work is likely to occur.

This means that organisations that adopt the above mindset should be able to adjust their HR strategies to each individual, and guarantee that people are trained and offered career choices that are ideally suited to their unique strengths timeously.