But who should be held accountable—and how?
An excerpt from a Harvard Business Review article by Jeffrey Cohn, Rakesh Khurana, and Laura Reeves offers some insights:
- Many executives believe that leadership development is a job for the HR department. This may be the single biggest misconception they can have.
- At companies that are good at growing leaders, operating managers, not HR executives, are at the front line of planning and development.
- Many senior executives now hold their line managers directly responsible for these activities.
- They must mentor emerging leaders, from their own and other departments, passing on important knowledge and providing helpful evaluations and feedback.
- If line managers are held responsible for executing the talent development initiatives, the board should assume high-level ownership of the overall system. (Traditionally, however, most boards have focused on CEO succession, giving short shrift to systematic leadership development.)
- Detached from day-to-day operations and biases, board directors can objectively look at the company's leadership development systems and bench strength.