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i4cp Flash Call: Benchmarking Succession Management

Both due to long-term trends, as well as recent changes in and expectations of the world of work, many organizations are evolving their approach to succession management. i4cp members regularly inquire about the most common and the most effective practices that organizations using for talent reviews, talent assessment, leader development, and many other aspects of succession management.

Top 4 things we explored: 

The Succession Planning and Management Journey – A majority of call participants showed that they are currently in the revamping stage of their journey. Organizations have identified their successors, but now want to leverage this information by reviewing leadership competencies with consistent effort and building initiatives for continuous development.

Talent Mapping – While most participants are still using a 9-box for talent mapping, many are reassessing their approach. Some have whittled down to a 4 or 5-box for while others are forgoing boxes all together.

Talent Review – Members are annually conducting talent reviews with a goal to continue the conversation throughout the year with quarterly check-ins with key leaders for accountability purposes. Some organizations are also partnering with HRBP's for change management by providing trainings, then following up to ensure a strong and diverse process.

Transparency – Many on the call said their organizations do not share who are considered high-potential (and therefore who are not), but are exploring other ways to be more transparent about the overall succession management process, especially when it comes to encouraging greater learning and development.

Peers joined for discussion on these topics and more, with a panel that included Laura Payette from Microsoft, Rose Fonseca and Kathleen Shaw from Dick's Sporting Goods, and Julie Moorehouse from EW Scripps. Here are some highlights:

“We focused on succession rather than ready now or ready soon, but ready later. We identified high potentials, and then leveraged our 360 tool from a strengths and opportunities perspective. “

"From a cultural push, we had a goal for all people leaders around engaging, developing, and retaining talent. Those people leaders were then asked to create specific goals to achieve that."

"We provided specific and custom trainings to all our leaders, including examples of what it meant to be in each box to support the conversations."

Rose Fonseca, Senior Manager of Talent Management, Dick's Sporting Goods

“We threw out our 9-box and had far greater performance conversations, since it became about performance calibration rather than performance aspirations”.

"We frequently check in on our most critical roles. Though we have a more formal annual process."

Kathleen Shaw, Sr. Director of Learning and Development, Dick's Sporting Goods

“We are exploring removing performance from the talent review discussion, similar to what Ball Corporation did. We overhauled our performance management to make it less difficult. We assess potential annually.”

“We are bringing succession planning and talent review together by starting to look at succession instead of successors looking at talent pools.”

Julie Moorehouse, Director of Human Resources, EW Scripps

"Microsoft from a talent lens is mostly focused on potential and forward-looking and organizational story."

"At the enterprise level, we focus on the top 250 leaders, but have started to look further down. From a people lens, we’re looking at both traditional succession plans for individuals and we’re also looking at talent pools. We use our folks in HR to identify talent sharing potential between department silos."

Laura Payette, Sr. Director of Differentiated Development Experiences, Microsoft


This meeting is exclusively for i4cp member organizations. If you'd like to participate, please contact us to see if your company qualifies for membership. If you are an i4cp member, please log in to access the registration/meeting details.
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