Home' HR Monthly : February 2016 Contents 18
FEATURE: LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION
Shaun Ruming, COO of McDonald’s Australia, is an example
of the McDonald’s leadership succession planning process.
He joined the company in 1987 as a burger flipper and worked
part-time through university. When he lef t to work in insurance,
McDonald’s management kept their eye on him and drew him
back into the fold when a corporate job oppor tunity presented
itself. He has now worked for the business around the world,
and as second-in-charge of the Australian operation, Ruming is
currently ensuring that ever y drop of talent is captured within
its almost 100,000 -strong workforce.
Q What succession planning steps does McDonald’s
Australia put in place?
Succession planning is integrated into all of our people
conversations, at all levels. Our plan maps out who our future
people are for all roles in our restaurants and corporate roles.
Everyone has an individual development plan. Given the nature
of our business and how people learn, this consists of 70 per
cent on the job experience, 20 per cent exposure through
coaching and mentoring, and 10 per cent education.
Q How many of your corporate staff began
in the restaurants?
Around 70 per cent of our corporate office is made up of people
who started in our restaurants. We are proud to be a learning
organisation and there is a clear development pathway.
Q Do you also keep an eye on the external market?
While we have no formal structure around seeking
outside talent, given one of our core values is around
continuous improvement, we keep a keen eye on which
companies and initiatives are doing well. McDonald’s uses the
ser vices of a consulting company to benchmark the external
market to ensure we are competitive with recruitment. We also
stay abreast of current market trends through our membership
with industry groups and employer forums. We partner with key
recruiters to target cer tain roles that require skills or exper tise
we may not have.
Q And the internal talent pipeline also heads
Yes, we are very proud of the number of
Aussies f rom our team working all across
the McDonald’s system. It definitely
boosts aspiration for our current team to
see the oppor tunities that exist out there.
Succession planning is not only integral to
our local success but that rigour is prevalent
throughout our global business. Our goal is
that critical roles, across the entire
business, have a ‘ready now’ and
‘ready for the future’ candidate.
There is visibility to our talent,
and their development plans
and career aspirations which
provides the f ramework for
greater adaptability and flexibility in that senior group – and
that can be challenging. But a failure to accept that could be a
major blu nder.”
Katriina Tahka, co- CEO of A-HA!, says a positive outcome
of leadership succession done well is diversity within the
organisation. The flip side, when leadership strategy is done
poorly, is a homogenous workforce.
Recently, advertising agency Leo Burnett was roasted in the
media after publishing a photo of their all-male, all-white team
of senior creatives. The men in the picture, of similar ages and
all similarly dressed, looked like a group of school friends –
boys that had grown up together in the same suburb. Sadly,
Tahka says, this is not unusual.
“We’re developing business leaders but are we achieving
diversity? All of the current stats in Australia say no,” she says.
“There tends to be very little gender, cultural or other diversity
among the leaders that come out of the current selection
processes. When you look at that cookie cut ter outcome
you’ve got to ask, what is going wrong? Succession planning
is supposed to be a development process but unfortunately it
often operates as an organisational filter,
and means everybody tends to look and think the same at
the end of it.”
The businesses that are doing it well are having thoughtful
conversations in which they challenge assumptions about who
might be the best person for the job, or what the company or
the business environment might look like five years from now,
“Some businesses do leadership strategy as a compliance
activity but others do it as a way of truly identifying the best
talent and as a challenge to what the business is accustomed to
look for in leadership,” Tahka says. “And to tell the truth, I’m
not sure whether it is safer to have a poor succession plan or
no plan at all. A poor plan can lock you into a poor outcome,
but a complete lack of a plan might mean you get a much more
agile and relevant outcome.”
CASE STUDY: MCDONALD’S AUSTRALIA
“YOU’RE NO LONGER LOOKING AT
INDIVIDUAL SUCCESSORS FOR
SPECIFIC ROLES, BECAUSE THOSE
ROLES MAY NOT EXIST IN THE FUTURE.”
SUSIE MOGG, ORGANISATION
DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT, SUNCORP
20/01/2016 10:37 am
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