Increasing globalization and business complexities as well as the impending retirement of baby boomers has recently heightened concern about organizations’ leadership capabilities. As organizations are looking to fill this gap, they are asking a critical question to determine whether to grow leaders from within or hire leaders from outside their organizations. A necessary first step in making this determination is to really know and understand the talent already on the team by systematically capturing that information in dynamic talent profiles. Understanding individual skills, competencies, strengths, and weaknesses can provide invaluable knowledge for deciding what percentage will be developed internally and what percentage of future leaders will come from outside the organization.
Emerging leaders typically make their start in a frontline leadership position, where an individual makes the difficult transition from contributor to leader. Unfortunately, this is a key weakness in many leadership programs. In a Bersin & Associates report, HR leaders rated “their first-line managers as their ‘least ready’ workgroup, even less capable than their entry-level employees.” Given that frontline leaders play such a crucial role in the near-term implementation and execution of business strategy, these challenges are worrisome.
Before organizations can rapidly scale and increase the pace of leadership development—particularly of less experienced employees—a necessary first step is the investment in solid leadership development processes for emerging leaders. This paper presents a blueprint for the development of emerging leaders, including the identification of key competencies and best practices for developing skills and experience captured in a comprehensive talent profile, as well as the equally important process of optimizing hiring practices for leadership roles.
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