A fascinating interview with Jac Nasser in this month’s Company Director magazine explored the world of succession planning. A quote that stood out was on how they approach succession planning for the board and senior executive team “we look out 10 years and project the skills and experiences the board will need and identify the gaps”. For many small businesses, it is difficult to forecast what the business will look like in 10 months, let alone 10 years, however the principle remains the same. You need to be continually planning for the appropriate talent to take on key roles in your organization ( whether they be director or executive roles).
It is critically important to remember that your people are the
lifeblood of your business and that attracting and developing the
best staff must be one of your highest priorities
It was interesting in the BHP Billiton example, that they had at least 4 strong internal candidates to take on the role of CEO with the retirement of Marius Kloppers. Of course most small business will not have the luxury of such a strong executive team to choose from, but perhaps there are some things we can learn from this. While it is imperative that you look outside of your organization for the right talent, don’t forget that there may be some excellent candidates in your current organization and they often “come up to speed’ quicker than external candidates. An internal candidate is also more likely to understand the culture and values of the organization.
In the same edition of the magazine, a feature article looked at the potential upturn in business post –September and that there may be more competition for good staff in the next financial year. With this in mind, organisations need to make sure that they are positioned for this change. As one respondent commented, “ don’t wait until the economy heats up because it could be too late”. We are all aware that different generations may have very different expectations of employers, and the monetary remuneration may only be a small motivator. Therefore you need to consider what will make your organization an attractive proposition to the right talent.
It is critically important to remember that your people are the lifeblood of your business and that attracting and developing the best staff must be one of your highest priorities.
Phil Butler is Manager – NFP, Public Sector & ACT at the Australian Institute of
Company Directors. For more information about AICD ‘s course programs and
events, T: 02 6248 5954.