By the Numbers

There is a war out there – a war for talent.  In a global study conducted by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, Boris Groysberg, and Nitin Nohria; only 15% of North American and Asian companies are confident they have enough qualified successors for key positions.  Fewer than 30% of European companies believe their talent pipeline is sufficient.  In a spotlight article in Harvard Business Review, Fernandez-Araoz, Groysberg and Nohria look at how to hang on to your high potential successors in the face of such shortages.

The authors looked at a large-scale, cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of how companies assess and manage their high potential employees.  They also interviewed executives from 70 companies that have rising star programs – companies of all sizes from all over the world.

One important finding was that grooming the next generation of leaders includes three sets of activities:

  1. Establish clear strategic priorities to shape the way you groom your high-potential leaders
  2. Careful selection of high-potential candidates and carefully communicating who they are with others in the organization
  3. Managing the candidates – how they are developed, rewarded, and retained

While there are successful programs out there to learn from, your strategy and culture will be key indicators of what will work for you.  In this blog series we will look at what potential actually is, and then the strategic, selection, and managerial aspects of effective high-potential programs.

Do you have a succession plan in place?  See our blog series on succession planning to supplement this series and see if you have your eye on the right talent to hang on to.


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