Tuesday 2 September 2014

Dude! Pay Attention to your Leadership Pipeline~

imagesFrom "We are making decent profits" to "Holy Moly! How did we get ourselves into this sticky situation" scenario is one that is not uncommon.

How does a company with a vibrant momentum start faltering? 
To be fair there are a whole host of internal and external factors which have undone a company. 
In this note I would like to shed some light to an internal factor that is controllable. It is Talent Development, specifically Leadership Pipeline. Developing people isn't as simply as smearing mayoannise on a egg sandwich and calling it a day. Just in case you did not get my reference, I mean you can't just do general training and consider it as developing people. It's like going to a gym and walking on the treadmill for 2 mins. 

Leadership Pipeline is a topic which many small and medium companies underestimate. Many thought leaders such as Dr Ram Charan and Walt Mahler have written many powerful articles and books on Leadership Pipeline development and have advocated looking at Leadership in Levels. 

There are 7 levels in Leadership. 
Level 1 : Individual Contributors
Level 2 : Managers of Others
Level 3 : Manager of Managers
Level 4 : Function Manager 
Level 5 : Business Manager
Level 6 : Group Manager 
Level 7 : Enterprise Manager 

Each level of Leadership has its own set of competencies and key success attributes. 
Many business owners have no validated system to reliably train and test whether someone is ready for a certain level of leadership. In my observation I have noticed that at best there is a mediocre understanding of what Leadership levels are and the required capabilities amongst the leadership cohort. In this instance Ignorance does indeed breed contempt. They do know what they do not know.
When you current leadership cannot define each level and spell out based on Global Benchmarks as to what each represents you creating the iceberg that will crush your company. Such blasé attitudes towards Pipeline development is a harbinger of imminent failure. 

So what can you do as a Leader? 
Proper formal education, executive coaching and Mentorship programs can help your company with their leadership development. program. Adopt the 70:20:10 rule
Which is 70% of your Leaders Development comes from On the Job training and Projects. 20% of the development from Mentorship and Network and finally the last 10% from formal training courses.

Some (usually those who don't themselves have) may diss MBA and other post graduate qualifications,
As I cannot be direct enough to say It Does Make A World of A Difference! 

The longer you sit twiddling you thumbs about proactive Talent and Leadership Development the more the "everything is under control" shenanigans by your current "Leaders" will continue and soon you will be calling the banks to close your haemorrhaging accounts. 

Start afresh and build a more solid future for yourself and your Organisation with a systematic competency approach. Make Leadership Pipeline a Core Priority.