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“push and pester to make sure there is proper integrity”, but
if the entire leadership team doesn’t own the process then you
will never win, he believes.
Susie Mogg, Suncorp’s OD&D manager, executive talent,
agrees. Mogg’s role specifically focuses on high-potential staff
and succession management.
“We have a rolling, three-year plan aligned to our
organisational business strategy and strategic workforce plan,”
Mogg explains. “Our high-potential succession management
plan should flow down from that. HR ensures we’ve got the
right framework, processes and governance in place – but
executive support is essential for it to work well.”
Succession management is about future-proofing a business,
Mogg says. “The world of work is changing with globalisation
and technology, demographics and societal changes,” she says.
“These things will have big implications for organisations. In
this new world, traditional approaches won’t work. We need an
approach that is fluid, agile and different.”
Mogg says succession management requires continuous deep
analysis of the organisation and of staff, and clear definition
of the requirements of future leadership within the business,
aligned to the business plan. Do it well, she says, and the result
should be “pools of talent” from which a business can choose
“Succession pools mean you can fill any general leadership
role,” Mogg says. “So you’re no longer looking at individual
successors for specific roles, because those roles may not exist
in the future. Instead you’re developing a pool of people who
all have strong abilities to embrace new ideas and different
DON’T LOOK AT ME
One of the most difficult challenges for incumbent CEOs
and others in leadership roles is not to select carbon copies of
themselves as successors.
David Sweeney, director of leadership at the Health
Education & Training Institute, says the skills that have landed
CEOs in the top job were correct for their time, but future
leaders will likely need a different set of talents and experience.
“CEOs of the future will realise it is an important part
of their role to be ‘directors of workforce’. What have been
thought of as softer skills [in the past] are actually quite hard
skills,” he says. “They’re also quite difficult skills to develop.
But if you want highly effective chief executives, they need to
see this as a key part of their role.”
This means that people currently in senior roles must not
only believe in and support the leadership strategy, they must
also accept that the kinds of leadership skills or qualities that
might be needed in the future, aren’t the same as they possess
now, Sweeney believes.
“That can be quite a difficult thing for people to adjust
to,” he says. “It’s a future world of work which is much more
ambiguous, more uncertain, and one in which there needs to be »
FEATURE: LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION
LOOMING LEADERSHIP GAP
A recent sur vey by recruitment
firm Hudson revealed only 54 per
cent of Australian businesses
have a clearly articulated
leadership strategy in place.
Around 92 per cent of HR
leaders agree that leadership is
important or ver y impor tant to
“ Ver y few organisations are
doing this really well,” says
Simon Moylan, head of talent
management at Hudson. “While
54 per cent said they have a
strategy in place, there is no
way in the world we see this in
practice. Some have pockets of
brilliance, but there’s not many
that have got this thing nailed.”
Moylan says a thorough
leadership succession plan has at
least four vital ingredients.
1) A CLEAR FRAMEWORK
that includes future strategy,
business goals and an
understanding of the challenges
leaders will face in the future.
2) A PLAN or pathway that clearly
outlines the company’s specific
needs in terms of number, level,
geographic location, cultural
experience of leaders.
3) DOCUMENTATION around how
they will identify these future
leaders and where they will find
4) A CLEAR AND WELL-
around how the business will
build the capabilities in current
staff that will be needed in
leaders down the track.
“My business lives and dies
on the quality of the leadership,”
Moylan says. “Ever ything from
day-to-day management to
innovation to where the new
ideas are coming from – all of
that comes from strong leaders.
If we’re going to be a great
business, we need strong leaders
driving brilliant behaviours.”
LOOMING LEADERSHIP GAP
LOOMING LEADERSHIP GAP
“ W E’RE DEVELOPING BUSINESS
LEADERS BUT ARE WE GETTING
DIVERSE OUTCOMES? CURRENT
STATS IN AUSTRALIA SAY NO.”
KATRIINA TAHKA, CO-CEO OF A-HA!
20/01/2016 10:37 am
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