next practices hero.jpg

Next Practices at Abbott, HSBC & TIAA

How has Abbott redefined leadership goals after spinning off a major business line?

What has HSBC done to ensure it always has quadruple redundancy in its succession pipelines?

And how has TIAA revitalized its employee resource groups?

We've previously highlighted next practices from McDonald's and Sears, as well as LinkedIn, Amtrak and Flex. Now, to answer the questions above, we've published three more case studies representing these organization's semi-finalist submissions for i4cp's Next Practice Award. While the full case studies are exclusive to i4cp member companies, summaries of each are available below.

The winner of the Next Practice Award will be announced at the i4cp 2016 Conference: Next Practices Now, March 29 – April 1, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

How Abbott's New Identity Resulted in New Goals for Leadership Development

Abbott LaboratoriesRecent changes in Abbott Laboratories, including the spin-off of the R&D pharmaceutical business line to form AbbVie, resulted in strategic imperatives to establish the direction of the new Abbott.

Pharmaceuticals had been a very dependable and lucrative arm of the business that traditionally supported and contributed significantly to business results. The long history of success in the R&D pharmaceutical line fostered overreliance on the capability of the pharma business to financially support other units should any fall short. The spin-off inspired Abbott senior leaders to establish a new Abbott identity. Growth and income would now come from a broad portfolio of businesses experiencing success in developed and emerging markets. New goals for Abbott were defined as above average sales growth and steady margin expansion.

In order to achieve the new Abbott goals, the organization determined that each General Manager (GM), as the commercial face to the Abbott business across the globe, must be self-reliant with a deep and well-developed understanding of the systemic nature of the business. GMs must work efficiently and effectively in high velocity, uncertain markets that are complex and competitive. To excel, GMs must become adaptable, flexible, and more proactively responsive to their fluctuating environments.

Several key development opportunities became apparent for the GMs of Abbott Laboratories…

Read more about Abbott's new goals for leadership development (i4cp members only).

How HSBC Evolved Its Succession Planning Process

HSBCHSBC recognizes that it needs to ensure it can easily demonstrate to stakeholders (internal and external), that the pipeline for key roles (material risk and senior leader positions) is well understood. This requires that each business understands talent; within their own country and business, within other countries within their same business, and within their same country, but outside of their own business. This also means the readiness, or ability to assume a position, is crucial, as HSBC requires quadruple redundancies for each key role. Essentially, a pipeline of at least four employees, for all positions, is expected to ensure the best replacement can be identified in a timely manner.

Several years ago, the bank underwent a strategy to align to four core global businesses and as such experienced a small spike in leadership attrition. This event, coupled with the need to quickly build out a solid Compliance and Risk function, meant HSBC needed to ensure it could leverage senior level talent across business and country lines quickly.

While succession planning has been going on for years, it continues to evolve in quality, quantity and approach to ensure delivery of a strong succession pipeline for key roles. The plan calls for a formal talent cycle to be adopted using globally consistent definitions, and to help level set possible successor candidates, using the senior to mid-level band as a feeder source. This then introduced the need to understand how fast a person could be ready to take on a role, as well as a sound way to ensure skills/experiences could be transferable across functions or business lines. Where gaps in immediate succession occur, contingency (interim) successors must be identified to mitigate risk and ensure business continuity.

Read more about HSBC's succession planning process (i4cp members only).

How TIAA Revitalized Its Employee Resource Groups

TIAATIAA launched Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) in 2009 based on employee feedback about the need to promote diversity awareness within the organization and out in the community. Employees wanted to establish ERGs to help them engage in cultural, educational, and social activities to celebrate diversity while gaining opportunities for personal and professional development. Over the years, expectations for best-in-class ERGs expanded from awareness raising and development opportunities to include supporting the creation of innovative business solutions for an increasingly diverse marketplace.

But the ERGs were not on par with external trends and had experienced significant decreases in membership growth and leadership support the last two years. Additionally, results of an internal culture survey consistently showed that certain demographic groups did not perceive the firm’s overall culture as inclusive. The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Office created a year-long strategy in 2015 to revitalize existing ERGs to improve the experience of our colleagues and increase long-term business impacts.

To fully understand the gaps, D&I conducted interviews with all ERG leaders. Their feedback helped inform the development of a list of short and long-term actions aimed at strengthening TIAA's ERGs. D&I built an improvement strategy around the five major gaps identified:

  • Lack of engagement from membership
  • Events perceived as not relevant to members or linked to business outcomes
  • Too many events offered with poor communication to employees
  • ERG leaders unclear about roles and expectations around providing direction about events, budget and succession planning
  • Line managers not supportive or unaware of the development opportunities associated with involvement in ERGs

Read more about TIAA's ERGs (i4cp members only).

Read here
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.