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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Leaders Require Due Diligence

Why do so many organizations spend more time researching office equipment (or a new paper supplier or phone system) than they do identifying leaders that will be put into critical roles? Organizations don’t have the luxury of time, resources and money to get their new leaders up to speed and fully contributing. The ability of a new or recently promoted leader to smoothly transition into a new or expanded role is not assured. In fact, more than 40% of new leaders fail to meet expectations. With so many new leaders derailing, how can any organization hope to achieve business objectives? The costs are substantial: from direct replacement costs to lost opportunity costs to poor morale. Simply put, effective leadership can ultimately make or break a company’s ability to grow and compete.

How do you accelerate the on-boarding process and substantially improve success rates? The best place to start: put the right people into leadership roles from the get go. Each new leader is an investment. Like any investment, you want to carefully assess and evaluate before making a commitment. Assessing for competencies that drive success in your organization is one way to ensure you are making a wise investment. Our own research shows that as many as 50% of organizations do not have a model for identifying and developing the leadership competencies needed to drive results.

Do your new leaders have the knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics needed to perform a particular role within your organization? If you haven’t taken the steps to assess for the human drivers of successful organizational performance, you could find yourself fighting a difficult and costly battle. In the long term it is far more cost effective and will deliver a far greater return on investment to create a sustainable leader profile up front than to spend time selecting a new office coffee dispenser. Get it right from the start.

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