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Friday, March 03, 2006

Leadership Succession and Recruitment

Leadership succession and recruitment need the sharp attention of your company's top executives and board.

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.

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