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Right Quarterly By Right Management ( Succession planning for talent management)

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Right QuarterlySecond Edition 2014
THE
Succession Planning for Talent Management
ManpowerGroup at a Glance…
Nearly 3,100 offices across
80 countries around the
Over 400,000 clients
ranging from SMB’s to
...
SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 1
EDITORIAL & FOREWORD	 02
by Chaitali Mukherjee	
POINT OF VIEW
Strengthening yo...
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Right Quarterly By Right Management ( Succession planning for talent management)

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In this edition we explore the subject of Succession planning for talent management. Succession Planning encompasses identifying the right successors to take over critical roles, building leadership capability in the successors to succeed and also empowering them to take the organization forward.

In this edition we explore the subject of Succession planning for talent management. Succession Planning encompasses identifying the right successors to take over critical roles, building leadership capability in the successors to succeed and also empowering them to take the organization forward.

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Right Quarterly By Right Management ( Succession planning for talent management)

  1. 1. Right QuarterlySecond Edition 2014 THE Succession Planning for Talent Management
  2. 2. ManpowerGroup at a Glance… Nearly 3,100 offices across 80 countries around the Over 400,000 clients ranging from SMB’s to Gl b l F t 100 Interviewed 12 million people in 2013 and world Global Fortune 100 companies The world’s largest IT f i l i connected 3.4 million to meaningful work USD 20.3 Billion revenue in 2013 i h d Global leader in Recruitment Process professional resourcing firm Over 30,000 l with over 85% generated outside the U.S. Nearly 70,000 people placed in permanent Largest global vendor- neutral MSP provider Recruitment Process Outsourcing The world’s largest outplacement firm employees across brands placed in permanent roles each year p outplacement firm More than 600,000 associates on assignment daily More than 11,000,000 candidates have received training and development
  3. 3. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 1 EDITORIAL & FOREWORD 02 by Chaitali Mukherjee POINT OF VIEW Strengthening your leadership pipeline 04 by Pierre Jauffret and Jacques Quinio CLIENT REFERENCE STORY Assessing leadership capability to deliver turnaround in business performance 08 by Nick Grage-Perry, Cyrus Cavina and Dr. Colin Couzin-Wood Organization transition from replacement planning to succession management 12 by Chaitali Mukherjee, Divya Jain and Shruti Dhupia FEATURE INTERVIEW - Leader Speak An interview with Mr. Banmali Agrawala - President and CEO GE-South Asia 16 by Chaitali Mukherjee and Divya Jain Layout & Design Editor Ritesh Hellan Copy Editor Tuhina Panda For a copy of ‘The Right Quarterly’, write to us at right.quarterly@right.com
  4. 4. 2 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY by Chaitali Mukherjee Managing Director – Experis APME Region & Country Manager – Right Management India The objective of any business is to achieve sustainable growth. There have been many studies that have been conducted to understand what drives sustainable growth. Some of the contributing factors are having a clear business strategy, the right amount of investment, a strong vision and the right manpower. Being a talent management and career management consulting company, Right Management has always worked with its clients to ensure they have at least the last factor in place – the right TALENT. But how does talent link to sustainable growth? It’s simple. Having the right talent in the right roles within your organization is a good starting point. But supporting them to achieve success drives the organization forward. Understanding the necessary capabilities that are required for your key roles and supporting high potential employees to step into those roles is essential. In our previous edition of the Right Quarterly, we spoke about Coaching and how important a role it plays in building our leaders. We also explored the different aspects of coaching and how it seems to evolve differently in different countries. But coaching is one element of the long journey of building talent. In this edition we explore the subject of Succession planning for talent management. Succession Planning encompasses identifying the right successors to take over critical roles, building leadership capability in the successors to succeed and also empowering them to take the organization forward. We start this edition with an article on Strengthening your leader pipeline, and share the basics on building a talent pipeline. Right Management’s recent white paper released on Talent Management: Accelerating Business Performance was launched in 2014. It shared how only 13% of HR leaders believe they have an ample leadership pipeline. This result is very alarming when we think of the growth in the available workforce, especially in the developing countries. But why is there such a shortage and how are organizations addressing this challenge? Do we have to work with only the high performers in the system and build on from there? What do we need to invest in? Read on to know more on how to identify the right set of leaders to help build your succession planning initiative. Our second article, Assessing leadership capability to deliver turnaround in business performance, dives into a real life client challenge that the Right Management Australia team helped to address. An FMCG client was operating in a tough competitive market where the only way to grow was to change the business strategy. The new Managing Director brought in fresh perspective to the challenge ahead and one of his first priorities was to review the overall leadership bench strength to deliver on the new strategy. Right Management partnered with the client to help identify the talent who had the right capabilities the organization wanted to see in its leaders. It also worked with the identified leaders to make them more self-aware and understand how they can add value to the business. Editorial & foreword
  5. 5. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 3 Whenever we talk about succession planning, many organizations think of a high potential leader development program. But succession and workforce planning is not just a program. It is a culture built into the existing system that helps the organization to work with employees who are high potentials across different phases of their career. If the program is not institutionalized well, the organization becomes dependent on just a few identified leaders and is not able to ensure a continuous leadership pipeline who can take on from those critical role holders when they leave. The third article Organization transition from replacement planning to succession management, shares the journey of an Indian organization that wants to be make its mark on a global scale. The first step they have taken up is to understand the ‘People Readiness’ of its leaders and how succession management can become an integral part of the internal system. Read on to know how the organization has made building an internal talent pipeline, its top priority. Though we always love to share stories of our client journeys, for our last article we would like to share the journey of a leader who has been on the inside. Through his own words! We had the privilege of speaking to a very charismatic leader this year, and got him to share his story with us. A story of a High Potential employee who has himself been through succession planning initiatives, while also having driven them as a leader! Our last article is a Feature interview – leader speak with Mr. Banmali Agrawala, President and CEO of GE – South Asia. Mr. Agrawala talks about his career highs and challenges, along with the factors he thinks have motivated him along the way. Our current edition has helped us reconfirm how Succession Planning for Talent Management is top priority for organizations across the world. But what we also hope to have achieved here is to get organizations to realize how succession planning isn’t just a one-time engagement or investment. It is an evolving process which has to become one with the internal processes and systems of the organization. Hence, for any organization that wants to ensure its foot print in the ever-changing world of work, we believe succession planning is one of the first steps. Hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we have enjoyed putting it together for you! - Chaitali Mukherjee
  6. 6. 4 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY Boardrooms around the world are increasingly focused on the need for top talent that will ensure sustainable growth over the long term. As a result, not only does Human Resources (HR) have a seat at the executive table, it’s at the top of the agenda as executive teams struggle to identify their next bench of leaders in the face of persistent talent shortages. Ultimately, the strength of an organization’s leadership pipeline is a major indicator of business success giving HR a key role to play in driving sustainable competitive advantage. And when growing talent internally is the number one strategy to address talent shortages, CEOs must look inwardly to grow their future leaders. Identifying high potential talent and creating the right plan for leadership development is a vital investment and an important step in ensuring continued growth and business continuity. For too long, as companies made financial cuts due to recessionary pressures, investments in leadership development were placed on the back burner. As a result, companies are now recognizing they have weak leadership pipelines that threaten growth. Point of View Strengthening your leadership pipeline Leadership talent tops boardroom agenda Drive Agility Performance If fact, according to Right Management’s latest talent management research, only 13 percent of HR leaders believe their organizations have ample leadership pipelines. To move forward, organizations must increase their commitment to a sustained, strategic approach to developing their future executive teams. Right Management’s extensive experience in helping global organizations build a robust pipeline of leaders demonstrates the need to address three types of challenges: Identification
  7. 7. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 5 Many organizations look at high performance in one role to try to predict future success in another. Some use tenure or exposure to specific types of experiences to identify the next generation of successful leaders. Often, a company’s success profiles – the required capabilities for leadership roles today and in the next three to five years – have not been refreshed in many years. This means organizations are looking for the wrong traits in leadership candidates. They are investing in the wrong people by mistaking high performers for high potentials. Research indicates that potential is best predicted by three major characteristics: Career Drive and Aspiration, Agility (Strategic, Operational and Interpersonal components) and Work Performance. Right Management’s best practice assessment techniques ensure identification of the optimal candidates for key leader positions moving forward. Our model assesses the whole person by uncovering underlying drivers of successful performance and identifying gaps to close through development. Development Oftentimes, high potential candidates lose interest because development investments have missed the mark, are irrelevant to business needs or fail to engage them intellectually and emotionally. To build a global leadership pipeline that is both deep and wide, companies must continually identify, develop, nurture, engage and retain leaders. In many organizations there is little connection between what is desired in terms of leadership competencies and the capabilities that are being developed. Using our 3E (Education, Exposure, Experience) model and best-in-class peer-to-peer learning frameworks, we help you create development programs and journeys that build relevant skills in your candidates. We tightly link learning objectives to your business drivers and priorities, and ultimately help you move your business forward in tangible ways. Measurement If a leadership development program cannot demonstrate impact on both individual participants and at an organizational level, it does not succeed. Success must be defined in ways that are meaningful to your business. Through customized key performance indicators (KPIs), we provide quantitative and qualitative ways to measure results and the return on development investment. Measurement data points include both individual high potential leader analysis and wider talent pool trends and patterns. Overall, with insufficient or unfocused leadership investments in recent years, companies are now paying the price of not investing in building a steady stream of “ready-now” leaders. Organizations that have are much more likely to outperform their peers in the marketplace, which translates into substantial financial gains, both in shareholder return and market capitalization. Customised development paths linked to strategic priorities Flexible and configurable program components Research-based, globally relevant curriculum Technology enabled/enhanced experience Measurable and linked to targeted business and leader results Global footprint ensures quality, consistency and local relevance Effective high potential programs:
  8. 8. 6 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY How to avoid the 3 most common pitfalls in managing your high potential program Ensuring the success of high potential programs is more important than ever, as companies struggle to identify, assess, develop and manage the careers of top talent to fill leadership gaps. Here are three of the most common traps in managing a high potential program and how to avoid these pitfalls. Confusing high performance with potential All high potentials are high performers but not all high performers are high potentials. In fact, research indicates that only about 20% of high performing managers are rightfully considered to have high potential for advancement. So the first common pitfall lies in the identification of high potential talent and the criteria used by organizations to do so. Yes, past performance is important, and companies need to take this into account, but it is not sufficient. Also, excluding high performers from the high potential list is not an easy decision to make from a management point of view as it often requires providing disappointing feedback to valued employees. Trap avoidance: High potential identification requires a two-step process : first, solicit management input to draw up an initial list of candidates and then confirm with a multi-trait assessment of the individuals to assure accurate selection. Gut feelings, observations and intuition are fine, as long as they are matched by proven high potential assessment methodologies that can measure for essential characteristics such as career drive, aspiration, agility, flexibility, and organizational confidence. Using outdated success profiles Very often, a company’s high potential success profiles — the required knowledge, experience, personal attributes and leadership capabilities — are not regularly revisited and checked for validity and relevance. We frequently encounter companies using selection criteria that were created up to five years earlier. Also, it can take some companies so long to agree on the success profile that when they finally reach consensus, the business situation or internal issues to be addressed have changed. As a result, organizations may be identifying, assessing and developing their future leaders on capabilities better suited for the company’s present than for its future. Trap avoidance: Define the critical traits for success in key roles over a three to five year horizon. Focus on four to seven essential requirements — the core criteria that, if possessed by a critical mass of leaders, will propel the organization toward success. Revisit your model every year to account for new challenges, and look for external research as food for thought to build your success profiles. Failing to create a credible, trustworthy and structured development program Some companies spend considerable energy, time and money to identify and develop future leaders but, when the need for succession arises, they do not choose an individual from within the high potential pool to fill the position. This jeopardizes the credibility and 1 2 3
  9. 9. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 7 Pierre Jauffret Senior Vice President Talent Management Solutions EMEA Jacques Quinio EMEA Leadership Development Solutions Director & UKI Talent Management Principal Consultant trust that high potentials may have in the process. When high potentials are not managed under a structured development process that provides meaningful assignments, consistent feedback, and development and career opportunities, many lose faith in the company and may leave to pursue their careers elsewhere. Trap avoidance: Three success factors are important to avoid this pitfall. First, to develop trust and confidence in these initiatives, companies MUST rely on their deliverables and results when managing the careers of their high potentials. Succession plans cannot allow exceptions when nominating individuals for new leadership positions – they must come from the high potential ranks. Second, top executives should be meaningfully engaged with the leadership development programs so they can be confident that participants are being developed with the required capabilities. Third, in addition to educational activities, high potential development programs need to include job-based exposure and stretch experiences so that future leaders are prepared to function in new positions as they become available. That requires the organization to have the mindset and the process to support experiential learning activities.
  10. 10. 8 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY Situation The Australian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market is dominated by 2 major supermarket chains, which between them account for nearly 80% of the market for this Australian subsidiary of a global hygiene products manufacturing organisation. The dominance of these two major players places high pressure on suppliers to provide competitive margins (through lower prices) and gives little room to move in terms of expanding markets other than by winning market share from the other major competitors in the product sector. For this organisation, the challenges of succeeding in this market environment were compounded by the need to deliver value on a significant capital improvement program, and a local joint venture ownership structure that would see equity partners expecting a business performance turnaround. The new Managing Director had established an executive team that brought a fresh perspective to the business, which had manufacturing and national distribution operations in Australia and New Zealand. The MD now wished to review the overall leadership bench strength of the organisation to ensure it had the capability to deliver on the strategic business objectives, including an aggressive growth agenda. Workforce solution The organisation’s Executive Manager- Human Resources had already identified the key leadership capabilities required as part of the strategic planning process, and now wished to engage an external partner to design and implement an approach for conducting a leadership capability assessment exercise to give a picture of the individual and overall levels of capability in the senior leadership group (n=45) for the organisation. This information would allow for more effective planning of talent development strategies for the business. The key leadership capabilities for the business were: • Own the strategy • Drive results • Build outstanding teams • Embrace change Right Management was successful in winning a competitive process through its proposal to use a multi-faceted assessment approach that would look at the dimensions of leadership potential and performance. The approach included: Developing the assessment approach • Developing a bespoke 360o assessment and feedback instrument based on capabilities drawn from Right Management’s leadership capability library. Right Management worked with members of the Executive Group to map the relevant Leadership Capabilities to the specific strategic leadership requirements of the organisation. (see Reference 1.1: Right Management leader capabilities library). • The 14 capabilities were built into an online 360o assessment tool that would provide results for the ‘Performance’ element of the leadership capability assessment. Assessing leadership capability to deliver turnaround in business performance Client Reference Story
  11. 11. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 9 • An assessment approach for measuring leadership ‘potential’ was developed by mapping a combination of elements of personality and cognitive ability, using SHL’s Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), and verbal, numerical and inductive reasoning assessment tools. • Developing an individual assessment report that integrated results from the different assessment tools into an overall picture of leadership performance and potential for each member of the senior leadership group. Results feedback Right Management consultants conducted a 1.5hr assessment feedback session with each individual to provide an insight into the results of the 360o , cognitive and personality tests and identify initial areas of development focus. Consultants also met with members of the Executive Group to provide an overview of the individual results and team profile for each Executive’s leadership team. Executive review Right Management developed an overall report of the leadership capability assessment exercise and presented this to the Executive Group in a 2 hour briefing session that covered: • Overall strengths and areas for development in Performance and Potential across the leadership capability areas • Differences in results across the four leadership capabilities and across each business unit • A consolidated, comparative mapping of all individual performance and potential A Note about potential As important as it is for an organisation to be able to measure and identify potential, it is equally critical that the organisation be clear on its definition of what potential means. In this case, the term was used to define potential alignment and fit with the leadership requirements of senior roles in this organisation. Other organisations might take an approach that more strongly aligns with a definition around potential to progress to roles at a higher level in the organisation. Different definitions will require different assessment approaches. Reference 1.1 Right Management leader capabilities library Strategy Domain Building organisational capability, business and financial management, coalition/ relationship building, customer focus, entrepreneurial, global awareness, innovation/R & D, market expansion, market penetration, market savvy, planning, risk taking, sets goals and expectations, strategic business development (sales planning), strategic focus, strategy execution, visioning People Domain Building teams and teamwork, builds trust, coaching, commitment, communication, cross-cultural savvy, delegation, developing organisational talent, inclusiveness, inspirational leadership, integrity, managing conflict, negotiation, networking, organisational sensitivity, partnering, professional adaptability, resilience, self- development Execution Account management (sales), agility/flexibility, continuous improvement, decision making, facilitating change, fosters accountability, judgement, learning agility, managing performance, monitoring, personal accountability/achievement oriented, persuasion and influence, problem solving, providing recognition, results orientation, technical excellence, tenacity
  12. 12. 10 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY results for the whole senior leadership group and for each business unit. (see Reference 1.2) • Interpretation of the leadership and business implications of the results from an outside perspective – drawing on Right Management consultant’s extensive experience in conducting leadership capability and development exercise across a wide range of industries and organisations. This included recommendations that o Confirmed the importance of the focus on performance and capability — Maintaining a focus on individual performance — Ensuring risks through capability gaps do not emerge — Considering opportunities to move talent across the business o Identified priority areas of development for current talent — Individual development planning based on 360o feedback — Developing a consistent performance management approach for the SLT (accountabilities, skills, systems) o Suggested priorities for recruitment — Drive results, build outstanding teams Results and outcomes Following the presentation of the cohort results, the Executive Group were themselves interested in gaining greater understating of their own leadership capabilities. Right Management was again asked by the organisation to undertake the 360o assessment process with each Executive Group member. The assessment capabilities were re-mapped to confirm the common, and different, leadership requirements at the strategic leadership level. The Senior Leadership capability assessment exercise subsequently formed the basis of a talent and capability planning activity led by the Executive Manager-Human Resources. This exercise required each member of the Executive Group to present an overall Manager 1 Manager 2 Manager 3 Manager 4 Manager 5 Manager 6 Manager 7 Manager 8 Manager 9 Manager 10 Manager 11 Manager 12 Manager 13 Manager 14 Manager 15 Manager 16 Manager 17 Manager 18 Manager 19 Manager 20 Manager 21 Manager 22 Manager 23 Manager 24 Manager 25 Manager 26 Manager 27 Manager 28 Manager 30 Manager 31 Manager 32 Manager 33 Manager 34 Manager 35 Manager 36 Manager 38 Manager 39 Manager 40 Manager 41 Manager 42 Manager 43 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Potential(PercentileRank) Performance (Percentile Rank) Leadership Reference 1.2 Overview of leadership capability assessment results
  13. 13. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 11 analysis of the talent capability for his or her group, and a plan for developing capability to cover key role and succession risks. Individual participants in the process continue to undertake development activities aligned with areas identified through the individual assessment reports. For the organisation, progress against the overall talent development plans is reported regularly to Executive Group colleagues as the business continues to plot its progress towards achieving performance turnaround. Meanwhile, the managing director has a clear picture of the leadership capabilities he has that will support him and the organisation in confirming the value of the business to its ownership partners. Nick Grage-Perry Principal Consultant Melbourne, Australia Cyrus Cavina Account Director Melbourne, Australia Dr. Colin Couzin-Wood Senior Consultant Melbourne, Australia
  14. 14. 12 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY Indian organizations today have come a long way from just being led by the promoter. The new age savvy and progressive promoters are just not looking at building an enterprise that is growing and sustainable, but also the organization that is world class and has a pipeline of home grown leaders who can further build, strengthen and foster the organization’s growth. Client Reference Story Organization context One such experience for Right Management India has been on our journey with India’s leading auto component companies. Known in the industry for its strict quality regime, interaction with customers and an eye on emerging needs, the organization has carved a niche to cater to some of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers. On the strength of their experience and the depth of their technological expertise, the organization has now geared up to launch themselves on the high growth global circuit. The focus on high potential need – the next level of growth As it continues on its journey for high growth in the next five years, it is imperative that the organization looks at various Organization transition from replacement planning to succession management A structured process to institutionalizing high potential development facets of growth and focuses on aspects that will harness such growth and ensure its sustenance. In its attempt to ensure that the growth is holistic, fast paced, customer centric and above all sustainable, the management of the company decided to look at the ‘People Readiness’ of the organization to ensure that the organization and its leadership is geared to meet the business needs. For this critical initiative, organization partnered with Right Management to build a structured and systematic approach towards pipeline building and adopt a matured process for workforce planning, which would focus to transition from being a mere replacement hiring for key positions to a systematic process for succession planning for critical roles, building talent pipeline for key roles for the near future and ensuring the process of succession management gets institutionalized in the organization.
  15. 15. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 13 HiPo process A very detailed step by step process was followed to ensure that each stage of HiPo identification, notification, developing and focusing on expected returns was taken into consideration. Let’s understand each of the stages in greater detail.    Identification of HiPo: A very robust process was adopted for identification of high potentials. We obtained data from multiple sources to provide a holistic insight on each individual. The key data points were: - Personal data on background, tenure, qualification etc.(as shared by Internal HR) - Performance evaluation data for last three years (as shared by Internal HR) - Leadership confidence on the individual (based on one on one discussion with Reporting manager) - Personality data (based on psychometric tool i.e. Birkman) - Potential data (based on one day development center for each individual) - Perception (based on 360 feedback) - Technical ability - Career aspiration (based on career aspiration survey) Mapping of HiPo to possible future roles On the basis of the above data, we have mapped the talent pool for all the critical roles in the organization as either successors or potential talent. • Successors are employees identified within the system who are fairly ready or can be made ready to take on the role with no additional inputs to focused Reference 2.1 Comprehensive employee data Reference 2.2 Possible roles the person can be groomed for
  16. 16. 14 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY E E E E I I I developmental inputs. They would be ready to take up the next role in less than three years’ time. • Potential talent is seen as an employee having potential to grow in the long term. Can be mapped to critical roles but would need to be supported by focused developmental interventions. They would be ready to take up next role beyond three years’ timeframe. Individualized HiPo talent development plan: For each HiPo talent, we created an individualized development plan basis the identified roles and his/her development gap areas. This development plan was done in joint discussion with the Reporting Manager of the HiPo talent. Development interventions: broad interventions which are common across the HiPo talent. Post creation of individualized development interventions, Right Management collated Mapping of each HiPo to development intervention was based on the premise that the intervention would meet his/her specific developmental needs Executive coaching To have focused individualized development to 1. Developmental for future- build perspective for future role 2. Developmental for current role – build additional capabilities /skills to perform better in current role 3. Remedial - work on individualized behavioral challenges which could be potential de-railers Action learning project To provide exposure to the team in 1. Handling projects outside their comfort zone 2. Developing a larger business perspective 3. Developing competence amongst individuals and teams in problem-solving and decision-making Mentoring People do very specialized work and a lot of domain knowledge does not get transferred. The intervention is 1. To build capability so that the mentees can acquire the technical skills 2. To eliminate the indispensability of critical role holder to ensure Business As Usual doesn’t get impacted 3. To build bandwidth in the organization to ensure current role holders can take on larger roles in the future 4. To lay the foundation for the culture of mentoring to make it a sustainable system in the organization the data and identified broad interventions which are common across the HiPo talent. There were multiple interventions identified which could be run either internally or through external support. Their development interventions are under the 4E development approach adapted from the corporate leadership council research on best practices for leader development. The ideal mix of development should be comprised of 25% education, 25% exposure Reference 2.3 Success of succession planning
  17. 17. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 15 Divya Jain AVP - Consulting Services India Shruti Dhupia Program Manager India Chaitali Mukherjee Managing Director – Experis APME Region & Country Manager – Right Management India and 50% experience along with a measure of effectiveness. The above interventions are being rolled out and the organization has commenced the journey to develop the leaders for tomorrow. The way forward For the organization, this is just the start of its journey of building high quality leaders, who are able to add greater value in their current roles, manage larger and more complex roles in the organization and most importantly build cross functional capabilities so as to build multiple leaders in the organization who can work across roles in the organization. Most importantly, the organization by implementing the succession management process on an annual basis will be able to ensure that increasingly going forward the organization transitions from buying talent completely to achieving the right balance between buying and building talent. The winning proposition Almost all organizations plan to make the transition from being an organization completely dependent on buying talent from the external market to progressively building talent within the organization to meet its current and future needs. While most organizations start this journey, not all are able to achieve the results. In case of this organization, one of the most important success factors for implementing this initiative has been the sponsorship of the MD and the senior leadership. Ability of the MD and the leadership to treat this as one of the most important priority items – by giving it due importance and allocating time and leadership attention, has ensured that the initiatives were successfully implemented and the focus continues. But as it’s said – ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often’; this is just the start of the real journey.
  18. 18. 16 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY In a candid heart to heart conversation with one of the industry known figure, who has been a High Potential throughout his career, Mr. Banmali Agrawala, President and CEO, GE South Asia; share his own journey, his career highlights and what all it has taken to be out there and doing what HiPos can do- for themselves and for their organizations… Sharing insights from his interview which HiPos of today will find relevant and worthy of learning from the expert’s experience …. Feature Interview - Leader Speak RMI: If you go back to the time when you were identified as a HiPo, what was the biggest impact on your professional life? Banmali: First of all , If I kind of look back I am not sure if there was anyone who came and told me explicitly that look you are a Hi-potential employee! This is of course about ancient history when I started my career way back in 1984. At that point in time, the whole concept of HiPo etc. was used in different way- It wasn’t so much about someone saying that you are HiPo, but about the signals being given in terms of more responsibility- than what it could be given to others, recognition by leaders in terms of being given the opportunity to speak up, to represent the Organization in various forums and platforms etc. So I believe that these were signs that stated in a certain way that I was being looked at more seriously as compared to the others. LEADER SPEAK A HiPo journey in his own words “ ” An interview conducted with Mr. Banmali Agrawala during Right Management HiPo week 2014
  19. 19. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 17 When these signs came across towards me, the first reaction was that of acceleration- you feel special & great, but at the same time, it also bordered on becoming arrogant and to get a feel of superiority which then had to be corrected very quickly. And that was done in my case and I would come to that in a while. So these were all the moments and reactions when I realized that I was kind of picked out as a HiPo. RMI: What you think was or is the biggest impact on your personal life of the same? Banmali: The biggest impact would be, as I said, the feeling of recognition and that too at a young age goes a long way in inspiring people and getting them to do better. That was indeed satisfying that I am being valued for what I have been doing in the organization and that was truly accelerating. I think the other thing it did was to infuse a feeling to do more- how to use the opportunity to do something even bigger, to do something even faster, contribute even more because there is a certain sense of expectation that has been placed on my shoulder, I think I grew up and matured quicker as the consequence of the confidence placed in me. However, what it also meant that since I was pretty young as compared to my peers and I was moving much faster and I am sure you would appreciate that in the Indian context and in many other countries in Asia, Age is a very important criteria in leadership and if you are a young leader or in a responsible position with a number of older people around, either as your peers or as your subordinates, it requires you to be humble rather than wear my pride on my shoulder. That’s a very typical Indian or Asian concept that I learnt to deal with, though in a hard way but very quickly. So I believe these were some more changes that came about as I got signals that I am on a fast track. RMI: What do you think has been the factors that have motivated you the most throughout your career and has kept you going? Banmali: I’ll just pick 3 or 4 things to answer this question –First is your attitude, more than anything else, more than qualification, more than training, skill or anything else. I think it’s all about the right attitude and if the attitude is not right, I believe nothing can work. And if the attitude is right, it would help develop all required things around the fundamental foundation. We could keep debating whether you can change attitude overtime, whether you can build it overtime etc. but the bottom-line is, I would say, that the attitude is single most important criteria and if you kind of go deeper when you talk about attitude-what does that mean, I think the first thing it would mean is humility, one needs to be humble
  20. 20. 18 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY enough to understand that there is a lot that you don’t know, there are others who are better than you ; and that you are indeed in a privileged position or fortunate enough to be in a position that you are in. The second aspect of the right attitude is the willingness to learn , I think one has to be extremely hungry and curious all the time and the more one assumes that since I am in “the” position that I don’t need to learn or listen to anyone is the beginning of the downfall. The third is willingness to take risk and specifically- to take personal risk especially in the early age of one’s career. I think if one wants to move fast, if one is identified as HiPo then I think you have to be willing to take risks. Risk I think benefits us in many ways, risk of taking new jobs- new assignments, relocating to new locations/ new cities- for all these are elements one should be very willing to embrace. In my case, I don’t even remember how much I have moved around while being at Wartsila, when the opportunity to move to Finland came my way, I didn’t hesitated at all to say yes to it and that wasn’t an easy choice as Finland is not one of the easy countries to work in and to live in- given the climate conditions etc.; and I think that decision paid back to me so many times because I was flexible enough in accepting that risk and accepting that challenge. Finally I believe it is one of the most important aspects as sooner or later everybody would have a partner in life- so I believe the role of a partner in life is extremely important and useful and when I talk about attitude, just to acknowledge the fact that in your success, your partner is paying a price- is needed to be very well understood and appreciated. In my case , when I was living in Finland and even otherwise, when I was always busy in work , it was my wife who was taking care of my children, bearing the brunt of everything and without her support it would have been impossible for me to do whatever I was doing and have done so far. It was not that she was not capable or qualified of going out and doing something, some work etc. But the point I am making is that the role of a partner becomes extremely important and would like to conclude this answer with this point that if we want to correlate HiPo with some kind of success, I think it’s important to know and I would like to put like it that “The price that one pays for the success is, more often than not, the family” and I think as long as one is sensitive towards that from an attitude perspective, one is well grounded. RMI: Would you like to highlight one thing that you did differently in your journey of being a HiPo and it helped you in a positive way? Banmali: While I was in Wartsila, there was one member in my team who use to handle projects, he used to report into me, and his son was of the same age as I was – so you can just imagine the dynamics of such a situation where you have such a fairly wide gap in age. The way I handled that was - I was extremely respectful for this gentleman, for his age and for his experience and I made sure that I made this message loud and clearly visible around the organization, in return what I got was great acceptance by this gentleman, he committed himself to delivering to our joint success, he displayed trust and respect towards me which I think was necessary for a fantastic relationship between two of us and it worked very well. When I came to GE, the first shock I got was that from being the youngest in the team, I was the oldest and that was an eye opener for me- to accept young leaders with myself on the other side of table now, was a new lesson that I learnt at GE. So handling the age difference both ways is a challenge and I think it has to be handled with care and sensitivity. RMI: Among the various companies you have worked with, have the formal or informal HiPo identification, notification process & development been a norm? Banmali: Let me consider my organizations one by one- First was Wartsila, where we did not have a formal process of identifying HiPo candidates, but I think it was giving the promising talent an opportunity, so identification and development happened in an informal way as opposed to a formal process. In the Tata’s as you know they do have a system called Tata Administrative Services System
  21. 21. SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR TALENT MANAGEMENT 19 where they select people and these are the people who find their way into various managerial positions across the Tata group. In GE of course we have a very robust and systematic process of identifying HiPo candidates. We may or may not share the information with the candidates themselves, depending on the case, but I think we certainly have a highly mature system that works beautifully for developing our HiPos. So among the three, I would say in GE is the organization that identifies and nurtures talent in perhaps the most phenomenal way. RMI: Specific to GE India / South Asia what have you seen is the biggest benefit for the business from the HiPo interventions that have been implemented Banmali: The biggest benefit business clearly has is that you always have a constant pipeline of leaders. One thing that is constant with organizations like GE is that you will always have people who will move on and leave GE- because they are well trained people and have a market value that is extremely high. We at GE are cognizant of the fact that we will have this kind of problem all the time and since we are the leadership fountainhead for global industry, it follows that we got to be prepared to handle this situation and therefore we must have a constant pipeline of available leaders at any given point of time, to fill in any openings that come up. One of the outcomes of our HiPo framework is that we have a constant pipeline that runs extremely deep into the organization. So we are never ever short of leaders. The second benefit is that it gives the younger talent more responsibility even when they are not 100% ready- my experience tells me that at least 8 times out of 10 they come out better so the reward for the organization is much more than the risk! Further, as a consequence of the confidence organization puts in its HiPos, the confidence level that you see in such HiPo people is amazing and we have young effective leaders across the organization dealing with huge and critical responsibilities. Hence I can say that by establishing such effective process the company has benefitted in great deals. RMI: How to manage work and life, can we have it all in our journey of being a HiPo? Banmali: I wish I had an answer to this question of work life balance that would fit everyone’s life and journey of being a HiPo. But I believe that each one of us has to find our
  22. 22. 20 THE RIGHT QUARTERLY own answer, make our own peace with ourselves. As long as we don’t take our partners for granted you will find an answer. The mistake we normally make is to take what we have for granted. You need to assure the partner and family around and then simply just play along whatever you choose to do specially in your journey of leadership excellence. Mr. Banmali Agrawala President and CEO GE-South Asia Banmali Agrawala is the President and CEO for GE South Asia and is responsible for all of GE’s operations in the Region. A veteran in the Energy domain, Banmali has over 29 years of global experience. He has served in several senior leadership roles in the Wartsila Group and in The Tata Power Group. He is acknowledged in the industry to have built and led successful teams that have driven business growth globally. In his previous role at Tata Power, Banmali served as a Member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director – Strategy and Business Development. He was also nominated to the Board of other Tata Group Companies and joint ventures. Prior to Tata Power, Banmali was with the Wartsila Group for over twenty one years and at the time of leaving the Group, he was the Managing Director of Wartsila India Limited and a member of Wartsila Global Power Plant Management Board. An active member of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Banmali has held several official positions within CII such as Chairman of the Western Regional Council, an elected Member of the National Council, Chairman of the National Committee on Power and Chairman of the Maharashtra State Council. Banmali is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the Mangalore University and is also an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School. About Mr. Banmali Agrawala Divya Jain AVP - Consulting Services India Chaitali Mukherjee Managing Director – Experis APME Region Country Manager – Right Management India As told to:
  23. 23. LEADER DEVELOPMENT Leadership Pipeline Development Leader Coaching™ Succession Management Performance Management ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Strategy Implementation Strategic Workforce Alignment Change Management WORKFORCE TRANSITION OUTPLACEMENT Outplacement Redeployment Career Decision Career Development EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT Strategic Communications Planning Workforce Engagement and Retention Strategies Wellness and Productivity Management TALENT ASSESSMENT Competency Modeling Organizational Assessment Team Assessment Individual Assessment TALENT AND CAREER MANAGEMENT LEADER DEVELOPM ENT EFFECTIVENESS O RGANIZATIONAL EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WORKFORCE T ALENT ASS ESSMENT Right Management’s Talent and Career Management Capability
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