Today, most of dynamic organizations are conscious about advanced workforce that will carry their legacy forward. However, many of them think that from where their future leaders will come from and how efficient they will be. Modern companies are well aware of the fact that the environment of business has become more challenging and to survive in this highly competitive market, every organization must go through the process of continuous up-gradation.
There is no doubt that the challenge is urgent and organizations that are optimistic about bright future, must realize whether their bench strength is likely to deliver most talented workforce in the future or not. A recent survey conducted by American Management Enterprise suggests that many organizations have not any particular strategies to build up future leadership for their organization. Thus, we should say that if you are the concerned person for your company and have not thought about building tomorrow’s leaders, then you have to realize the importance of the issue that should take initiative to put light in the matter.
How to Identify Leaders for the Future
Every organization should feel the need of future leaders and should take steps to develop them. However, we have seen many companies for whom looking beyond next two years is impossible, so how do such companies will identify future leaders for their organizations.
As a tradition, many organizations like to carry out their old tradition of giving priority to the senior managers, executive or front-line managers. Such companies feel that those top ranked officials can be replaced with some better ones if needed.
However, most of such organizations are not giving value to the idea of preparing some individuals for future leadership from their own company even from some lower rank.
Highly productive companies always give priority and importance of finding efficient talent for the future. Moreover, high performing companies often try to put leadership on assignments where they interact with senior executives on their own. However, such experiential learning activity will allow those talented individuals to work on cross-functional assignment.
Develop Leaders in Various Ways
Those individuals who have been identified as potential leaders should be developed by the organizations in various ways such as
- stretch assignments
- several learning activities or cross-functional learning
To make sure that the process of development is going towards the right direction, potential managers should go through corporate performance and benchmark skills and efficient knowledge about other highly productive organizations.
To design their program, future leaders might not wait for talent managers; they rather will seek opportunity on their own. They will probably rely on various resources to identify volunteers to seek external learning and for stretch assignments.
However, changes will not come automatically; leaders have to read out characteristics or competencies for the potential leaders. Future leaders are expected to be agile, ethical, technologically well aware, financially adept, and committed to transparency, skilled communicators, continuous learners, innovators, devoted team players and should be authentic in style and substance.
Should Have Clear Matrices on Basic Elements
To create an environment that supports the process of leadership development, talent managers have to make sure whether in the investment has been put effectively or not and they have to establish clear matrices on basic elements.
However, such key elements include success in job in the future, requirement of external hires, number of initiatives taken for development, time and effort given for senior recruiting and frequency of talent recruitment.
The Process should be Customized
A single clutch of courses will not help future leaders to emerge. The process of development has to be customized, must offer value to required business results, and should offer time to meet some important needs. For example, if a potential leader needs to become an expert in budgeting, then the person should be trained in that particular field and should not look for full financial course.
If the leader has been assigned to lead a global product team, then the individual should immediately take a course that will pursue on effective product management. Proper customized training for development will allow a potential leader to enhance his knowledge in right direction that will definitely be beneficial for the organizations too.
Building Bench Strength
A recently conducted study shows that many organizations are not willing rely on internal succession plans for recruitments. It has been found that 43 percent of companies hardly ever recruit from outside of their organization. However, the study also shows that near about 34 percent of companies often give priority to the internal succession plan.
However, it is not that hiring people from outside the company is a bad idea, but the fact is it is far from becoming an ideal decision. If a company has set its target to be conservative with money, then the company should give value to the internal advancement.
Several benefits can be availed by an organization as it relies on the process of internal advancement. Higher engagement and developed loyalty for the company is some of the most advanced benefits. But to achieve internal promotion, all development related practices should have senior management support and sufficient budget.
If the bench strength is weak, the organization has to bring future leader from outside which can cost some extra money for the organization. However, professionals who will come from outside the company may take some extra time to capture the working style of any particular organization. At the same time, the person who has worked in the company for several years will have the better knowledge in such issues.
In future or present, leaders have several key responsibilities and obligations that they need to handle effectively. It has been found that people who had run an organization with lack of clarity of their purpose have not succeeded. On the other hand, leaders at companies that have their own plans and ideas for a purpose have been successful. Thus, it is important understand the fact that building tomorrow’s leaders has become an important task for high performing organizations in this competitive world of business.