The research on succession planning.

Here’s the thing: Executives’ orientation tends to be fixated on financials rather than on critical topics related to improving management and leadership itself. One example comes from the research on succession planning. What was found was that, even though today’s organizations are most likely to vest responsibility for succession planning with their executive team, the rigor’s associated with succession planning tends to be frighteningly feeble. Fewer than half of organizations even have a formal succession plan. This is unforgivable for a company of any significant size. If leadership is critical, succession must be managed in a professional manner, and when asked participants confirmed that their organizations tend to use one or more metrics to gauge succession planning success, none of those metrics is embraced as a “must-have.”

Yet, succession planning is not the only area where this is true—not by a long shot. In the area of employee engagement—leaders are not held accountable for engagement, and they don’t act like they are, either. Companies say their leaders take (to a high extent) effective actions to improve employee engagement. Moreover, only a minority of leaders are held accountable for employee engagement to a high extent.

Then there’s the issue of employee learning—which is pivotal to performance in today’s talent-dominated economy. Many training professionals claim that their leadership is downright apathetic in the area of training evaluation data. It turns out that in lots of organizations such metrics just don’t matter to leaders.

So how will leaders be able to pick the next leader if they are not engage in the development of employees, where do they think people will learn this skill.


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