forum.com http://www.forum.com/blog/accelerating-leadership-development-talent-pooling/Accelerating Leadership Development | Forum CorporationJune 14th, 2011 by Ian KristicSpoiler alert: Talent retention and employee engagement rates are significantly lower nowthan before the recent financial crisis and subsequent recession. Given the years of costcutting and reduction of employee rewards, this is hardly surprising news.While not surprising, the statistics spell disaster for the ability to deliver against short- andlong-term strategic goals. Business leaders know it. And when we recommend that clientsdevelop a robust leadership pipeline to ensure a sustainable and continuous flow of leaderswho can execute strategy effectively, they sometimes say, “Yes. But where do we start?”Accelerated Talent PoolingOne innovative way to start is accelerated talent pooling. This is a dramatic departure from the traditionalsuccession planning process. Rather than select one or two hand-picked people for each key position,talent pools accelerate the development of an entire group of high-potential candidates for key leadershiproles. Employees are selected for talent pools not by their place in the traditional hierarchy, but on thestrength of their ratings on capabilities such as intellectual horsepower, technical capability, industryknowledge, learning agility, and emotional intelligence—and of course on their track record of success.Talent-pool size depends on the number of targeted key leadership roles, the number of candidates theorganization would like to choose from in filling key roles, and the speed at which the organization is growing.The advantages of talent pooling and targeting talent development are clear.Organizations that undertake talent pooling: Are more agile and readily able to adapt to constant change and uncertainty Discover leadership from previously untapped sources Increase cross-functional excellence, often driving innovative approaches to existing opportunities and challenges Engage a wider swath of high-potential leaders, increasing retention and engagementThe bottom lineYou can identify the key leadership roles that drive the success of your company and assess the strength ofyour existing leadership bench to fill these key roles. And, though we’ve focused on identification techniquesin this post, it’s the accelerated development of your talent that will really drive successful execution of yourbusiness strategy.Talent development resourcesWe have built and implemented many learning systems for leaders at all levels, and we’ve captured ourexperiences and key lessons in our point-of-view paper Align Your Business and Leadership Strategies: Build a Pipeline of Leadership Talent to Execute Strategy Today and Tomorrow. A strategic developmentapproach will help your new leaders avoid pitfalls that lead to failure and instead successfully take on theirroles and realize their promise as drivers of the future success of the business.Also, please look us up at the Talent 2011 Conference at the Mandarin Oriental in London, July 6 and 7.Talent 2011, now in its sixth year, is an event for organizations seeking to take concrete action and drivebusiness performance into the future by developing sustainable leaders today and tomorrow.