Most U.S. companies do not have an adequate pool of internal candidates to replace employees slated to be promoted to the next management level, according to Radnor, Pa.-based retained executive search firm Salveson Stetson Group.
To fix the problem, the firm recommends conducting a succession audit. "This audit should include an in-depth review of the current succession planning model; identify talent gaps for critical company roles; and define the core talents, competencies, and experiences needed to qualify each position," says Sally Stetson, co-founder and principal with the Salveson Stetson Group. Next, aggressively develop talent within the organization. John Touey, principal with the firm, says you might try putting high potentials in developmental assignments, providing mentoring by more senior executives, and making available outside coaching on management and leadership skills.
Accept that your next generation of leaders may not be working for you today. "Companies must develop their knowledge of talent that exists within their industries, or within the functional areas where they have significant internal gaps," says Touey. And, don't forget to align your carefully crafted succession plan with overall company goals.