Want Succession Success? Six Imperatives to Guide You

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Leadership readiness initiatives aren’t working, so its time to RETHINK what we’ve been doing and focus on the practice of leadership acceleration.
Use these six acceleration imperatives that drive succession success to move your leaders in the direction to being ready now.

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Want Succession Success? Six Imperatives to Guide You

  1. 1. Want Succession Success? Six Imperatives to Guide You 1 2 3 4 5 6
  2. 2. We all know about the shortages in leadership and leadership failures, there’s plenty of data out there illustrating these shortfalls.
  3. 3. Over the last decade, while investments in leadership development have been steadily increasing, the rate of leadership readiness has been steadily decreasing.
  4. 4. Maybe we need to rethink.
  5. 5. If learning is acquiring knowledge or skill… and… If growth is applying that new learning…
  6. 6. …then we seem to be doing a lot of learning, while achieving very little growth.
  7. 7. Acceleration is the discipline of growth. (Hint: That means shifting our focus to the application of Learning.)
  8. 8. Leadership Acceleration is struggling to become a discipline.
  9. 9. As HR professionals, we need to answer a few burning questions…
  10. 10. Burning Questions We Need to Answer: • How will we make the shift from having people who are “not ready,” to having leaders who are “ready now”? • How do we accelerate that process? • Is readiness a state of being? Do we one day arrive? • Or, is it a discipline of taking on new challenges?
  11. 11. Ready Now All organizations are on some kind of journey to establish leadership readiness.
  12. 12. At DDI, we use six words, or ACCELERATION IMPERATIVES, as guideposts for the journey: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  13. 13. What do these six imperatives mean? We’re glad you asked—read on.
  14. 14. COMMIT: Adopt acceleration as a business imperative. AIM: Define leadership in the language of business context. INVEST: Make shrewd investments in leadership Growth. ASSESS: Assess readiness gaps and give great feedback. GROW: Make the right development happen. SUSTAIN: Aggressively manufacture the energy for Growth.
  15. 15. COMMIT • Senior leadership decides—proactively—to make Acceleration a priority. • This is more than simply investing in a program. • Leaders need to treat the growth of talent like sales growth or cost reduction. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  16. 16. Learn to COMMIT • Adopt Acceleration as a business imperative! • Nail the business case. Leave no skeptics. • Debate leadership needs among top management. • Pinpoint capacity gaps. • Own the metrics of success at the top. • Drive it like it is your core business.
  17. 17. AIM • Knowing what you are looking for means defining success in context. • Your business. Your strategy. Your culture. Your context. • It’s more helpful to aim at a few broad targets. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  18. 18. Learn to AIM • Define leadership needs simply, clearly • Focus on the few: Fewer than 5 business priorities • Don’t let the present blind you to the future • Mark the hazards—clarify difficult transitions • Seek to accelerate the whole person (knowledge, experience, competencies, personal attributes)
  19. 19. INVEST • You must decide how you are going to distribute limited resources for growth. • It’s tough for organizations to acknowledge the fact that they cannot grow everybody at the same rate—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow everybody. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  20. 20. INVEST You won’t achieve your business needs if you can’t make some decisions about who will have accelerated development opportunities at a certain time, and who will not. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  21. 21. INVEST • If you plan and handle your investment strategy the right way, you have a much better chance at achieving growth at the rate your business needs. • Remember, the highest return comes from investing in those who have not yet shown value, but show the potential to do so. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  22. 22. Learn to INVEST • Become disciplined talent scouts • Clarify definitions: performance, potential, readiness • Confront the implications of differential development • Don’t ask a test to do what a manager can learn to do better • Facilitate rigorous debate about potential—be behavioral • Develop a disciplined routine for review
  23. 23. ASSESS • Once you’ve developed your investment strategy you are ready to assess. • Create an assessment strategy that scales to the different needs you have. Fully assess your workforce. • In the discipline of Acceleration, assessment and feedback fuel improvements that create growth. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  24. 24. ASSESS • This imperative is critical to understanding gaps—for both individuals and various groups within your organization. • Scaling assessment is based on volume, risk, and the level of implementation difficulty. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  25. 25. Learn to ASSESS • Assess readiness gaps and give great feedback • Assess the whole person • Scale assessment rigor to level of risk • Use assessment analytics to plan future business scenarios
  26. 26. Learn to ASSESS • Don’t ask (or allow) managers to do what assessment can do better • Cultivate 3-part Courage: • Sr. Management: courage to acknowledge that judgment errors happen. • Leaders: courage to take the journey inward. • Talent Management: courage to promote structured, accurate assessment.
  27. 27. GROW • Make the right development happen so that growth occurs. • Development must be scaled to the audience. • It is essential to have a diverse array of learning solutions to ensure the right growth happens. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  28. 28. GROW • For large groups of leaders across the enterprise, a university approach might work. • Or, you might implement a learning journey for a cadre of people preparing for a special application or specific role. • Perhaps a coach for a leader in transition. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  29. 29. Learn to GROW • Make the right development happen. • 10/20/70 is not just a catch-phrase • ‘Self-driven acceleration’ is an oxymoron—it takes a village • Factor in Business, Role, and Self • Create a journey, not an event
  30. 30. Learn to GROW • Make it matter to the business—to me • Don’t just learn. Apply. Apply. Apply. (Hint: That produces Growth!) • Powerful development experiences are assets—invest wisely • Don’t neglect the middle (i.e., mid-level leaders)!
  31. 31. SUSTAIN • In times of rapid learning, there is energy. Excitement. Fear. • Positive learning tension is the energy of Acceleration. • It can be manufactured with: – Great communications – Powerful measurement dashboards that illuminate progress – Well-aligned accountabilities for all 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain I M P E R A T I V E
  32. 32. Learn to SUSTAIN • Create engagement through positive growth tension • Make growth tension a goal. Measure it. • Give accountabilities teeth. Measure. Monitor. Reward. • If failure seems uncomfortably plausible, you’re on the right track
  33. 33. Learn to SUSTAIN • Where learning is concerned, your shareholders don’t know what’s good for them (they won’t encourage risk) • Institutionalize the belief in human growth
  34. 34. Let’s Recap.
  35. 35. Ready Now Six imperatives serve as guideposts for Ready Now leaders: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  36. 36. COMMIT: Adopt acceleration as a business imperative. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  37. 37. AIM: Define leadership in the language of business context. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  38. 38. INVEST: Make shrewd investments in leadership Growth. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  39. 39. ASSESS: Assess readiness gaps and give great feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  40. 40. GROW: Make the right development happen. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  41. 41. SUSTAIN: Aggressively manufacture the energy for Growth. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Commit Aim Invest Assess Grow Sustain
  42. 42. Ready to Begin Your Leadership Journey? Take these next steps to succession success: Visit our website, www.ddiworld.com/expertise/succession-management and get in touch at (800) 933-4463 or info@ddiworld.com

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