Leading the next generation to the top (Web Sight)

Businesses are facing a huge problem in the near future: the retirement of senior management. Many people at the top levels of management are planning to retire during the next five to seven years.

HR needs to be proactive in developing the younger generation of managers. The following sites are aimed to help you do just that.

MTA travels far with its future managers program

Instead of starting your management development initiative from scratch, why not learn from one of the most effective programs out there by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City? This in-depth article discusses every aspect of the program, from the intensive interview and selection processes to the mentoring programs that are critical for any development program to succeed. “Future managers are often confronted with situations different than their prior work experience; that’s where the mentor serves as coach or role model. Mentors listen to problems and supply information about the culture of their agency. It might be a simple question like whether to wear a shirt and tie or jeans to this department.”

Annual reports, far from ordinary

This article from Inc. Magazine begins with a discussion around annual reports. But, “not your ordinary, garden-variety annual reports, mind you, but a type I’ve seen produced by only one other company in the world — from which I stole the idea. This kind of annual report doesn’t follow generally accepted accounting principles. In fact, it doesn’t even concern itself directly with the state of our business. Rather, its purpose is to update our shareholders, who are also our employees, on the state of their careers,” the author says. It’s called the Employee Annual Report, a unique way of looking at succession planning. Employees fill it out during personal development interviews, they are advised on what they need to do to achieve their goals, and their progress is tracked throughout each year. Doing this — or something like it — will not only help grow your future crop of managers, but increase your company’s bottom line. And you thought the article was only about those glossy reports nobody reads.

Who’s going to grow the next CEO?

While businesses focus on recruiting in the midst of a massive labour shortage, many forget to focus on succession planning for the top chiefs of organizations. This article from Business Week discusses the lost art of succession planning for CEOs. Businesses have not put enough time, energy or money into growing the next CEO and with many chief executives retiring in the next few years, this will be a big problem. “Most companies sidestep any talk of the boss’ succession, partly to avoid the politics and drama that often engulf contenders for the top job. After all, public horse races can encourage ruthless elbowing among competitors, even as they advertise talent to prowling headhunters and rivals.”

You should have already started preparing

“If businesses learned anything from the Year 2000 computer crisis, they should have learned the importance of early planning. It’s not too soon to apply that lesson to another crisis coinciding with the millennium: a critical shortage of middle and top leaders in the next five years...A significant number of companies — especially large, older organizations — will see 40 per cent to 50 per cent of their executives leave in the next five years — and there are not enough people prepared to replace them.” The shortage crisis is scaring many businesses into action, and this article suggests a few ways organizations can get a handle on the crisis to mitigate the damage. Some of the suggestions include fast-tracking high-potential employees and building a competency model.

Leadership for the big dogs

Created by Donald Clark, who operates one of the most highly visited leadership/training sites on the Net: “This leadership guide is for new supervisors, managers, leads and anyone wishing to move up through the ranks as a leader. The first chapter provides a basic background on leadership, and the following chapters provide information on the skills and knowledge needed to implement effective leadership. The appendixes contain a basic lesson plan for implementing a leadership development program with several learning activities, definitions, quotes, references and other tools.” This is one practical tool to help employees “move on up,” that corporate ladder.

Scott Stratten is a speaker, trainer and the creator of WorkYourLife.com. He can be reached at [email protected] or (905) 844-2818.

Latest stories