How Healthy is Your Leadership Pipeline?

The ability to groom promising talent into tomorrow’s great leaders is critical to the health of any organization, but one many struggle to achieve. Fortunately, the right prescription isn’t too far out of reach; just take a cue from the healthcare industry.

Healthcare providers often rely on a simple acronym, SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment and plan), to track patients’ well-being and overall improvement. The same strategy fits in well with the talent management process. With individual advancement often left to the whims and personal preferences of managers (which can lead to some disastrous results if the wrong people are moved forward), the SOAP method gives the company access to all available data to move beyond the old-fashioned subjective approach and predict success through more objective means.

While SOAP provides a good starting point for a healthy leadership pipeline, what’s the next step? The answer is: Big Data. Each day, companies and their workforces produce vast amounts of information, but where does it go from there? Rather than letting it sit around untouched, managers should tap this insight to understand the skills already in the company (and the areas where the workforce is lacking). But accessing this info isn’t enough – the company must then use it to diagnose areas for improvement. 

Let’s say the company in question faces poor retention among the sales team. Hiring managers can access detailed performance management data about top performers and determine the traits indicative of success. Equipped with this data, the company can recognize candidates whose skills align with those indicators, pinpoint existing gaps and leverage this insight to make the business case for development. As a result, the company will not only be able to identify the performers who show the most promise, but also give them the relevant, targeted training to make them superior leaders. 

With top talent in high demand, the organizations that look internally to develop their current bench will have an inherent advantage. And, with detailed data about their performance, they will have an easier time identifying high potentials and giving them the support to be successful. To learn more about how data can be used to improve the health of your leadership pipeline, download our whitepaper, “Lead Me: Predict Success by Making the Subjective Objective” 

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