Friday, October 11, 2013

Succession planning

As leaders of our teams it's important we plan for the future. Part of this planning needs to be about who takes over the important aspects of our business. While we set the strategic direction we want to take we must carefully look within our teams and outside as to position the next generation of leaders.

Succession planning is all about identifying the right personnel, grooming them and then setting up the framework for their elevation into these positions.

So where to start, this is best done by identifying the crucial roles and attitudes necessary to be successful in the target job. Write each of these down in a matrix and classify each with a priority. Now we know what we need in the future person to hold this role.

Next let's take a good look at your current workforce as there is a reasonable chance you will already have someone who has many of these skills and attributes. Next create another matrix similar to the first one and place each prospective candidate and rate them against each of your criteria you found in the first matrix. This will help you to identify any areas where you need to discount them or opportunities for additional training or mentoring to fill the gaps.

Ideally you will have identified and developed at least two people who would be suitable for the position. This will give you some flexibility should situations change.

Now it's time to test them out! Next time you're on leave or out of the office for an extended period, put them into the position and give them control. Let other groups you interface know that there is someone filling on for you during this period.

Once you come back take some time out with the person and gain their feedback on how they saw things pan out. Don't be too critical if those go wrong take it as an opportunity to mentor them in to a better outcome. Also take time out to gain feedback from team members and upper management on how they went. This may give you some insights on how ready they are to take the next step.

As today's leaders it's important we look for ways to ensure we have succession plans in place for all our critical roles, as this will strengthen our business and have a robust mechanism in place for the future.

Have to tackled succession planning in your business, how did it go?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to re-organize your Team

As the new year is about to kick-off, now is a good time to look to re-energise and re-organize your team. As leaders it is important for us to continually look at ways to improve our teams and their performance.
Firstly let's look to collect like skills, make a list of all your team members and their skills, then group the like skilled people together. Should all these people be in a group together so their skills can be shared to improve the overall output?
Next let's look at the outputs we need to produce. Do we align our groups in-line with our outputs?
Now make a matrix with our skills down one side and our outputs across the top. Then work through the matrix and assign your team.

Check for any obvious personality clashes and move people around to come up with a best fit.
Brief your functional leaders on why you have formed the team and how they are aligned. By working through the "Why" your functional leaders will fell part of the buy-in and understand your reasoning for creating the teams the way you have them. Spend plenty of time to ensure that everyone gets what you want to achieve and why the groupings are the way they are. It is very important that your senior people are fully aware and are ready to take the task on.

Now look through the team members and identify those that may need some help to move to the new team structure. Book a time with each member and clear your diary.
When you meet with each member, you need to focus on two things: one why you need the team to be structured the way you want and secondly how they will integrate into this to help drive this team to peak performance. Explain how good their work is and how you believe the new structure Will make the whole team perform better.

As the leaders of our teams it is important to continually look at ways to improve our team and strive peak performance.