Succession Planning

How to Create a Rising Tide of Talent Within Your Organization

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Great leaders lift up the people around them. They help employees harness their natural abilities, guide the development of their skills, and support them along an internal career path. Nurturing your organization’s team members has many payoffs. Staff member stay dedicated to the company and its mission; employee retention remains high; and in time, the organization gains its next generation of leaders.

Unfortunately, the persistent talent shortage across the globe is undermining these efforts. There continue to be more jobs than qualified people to fill them. Further, this talent shortage is delaying promotions, which keeps people stuck in their current jobs because they’re the only ones who can do that job. Even when there’s a career path for them, talented employees can’t advance in their own company; they can’t step up because there’s simply no one available to take their place.

You can solve this problem by creating a rising tide of talent available to your organization. Instead of focusing on succession plans that fail for lack of qualified successors, developing a continuous influx of top talent expedites advancement and elevates careers at all levels in your organization.

How can you create a rising tide of talent? By ensuring your organization maintains a wealth of quality people.

Determining Your Current Talent Wealth

Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make a company great. Sustaining a full complement of good employees fuels succession plans and helps you maintain a competitive advantage.

Just as there are levels of personal wealth, so too are there levels of talent wealth within all companies. The departments in your organization are either talent rich, talent poor, or hover somewhere in between. Understanding your current level of talent wealth is important. Read the following descriptions and share them with your organization’s department heads and HR. Work together to determine which description best describes the current ranking of each department.

1. Talent Rich Departments

Talent rich departments employ mostly above average people, many of who are top talent in their fields of expertise. These people consistently do high quality work, often exceeding expectations and beating deadlines. Numerous advancement opportunities are almost always filled from within, creating new job opportunities. These jobs are filled quickly from a pipeline filled with high quality job candidates.

2. Talent Strong Departments

Talent strong departments employ people who are at least average at what they do. Some of these employees are top talent in their fields of expertise. They do quality work that meets expectations and deadlines. Advancement opportunities are frequently filled from within, creating new job opportunities. Some open jobs are filled quickly from a pipeline of talent. Other jobs take longer to fill, delaying promotions until new employees are found.

3. Talent Stable Departments

Talent stable departments have a mixture of average and below average performers. Just a few, if any, employees would be designated as top talent. The performance of these employees is typically adequate, although they can struggle to meet expectations and deadlines. Advancement opportunities, when they occur, are sometimes filled from within. When jobs become open, it usually takes days to fill some of them, weeks or months to fill the rest. Promotions are often delayed or even cancelled when backfilling a role takes too long.

4. Talent Poor Departments

Talent poor departments employ a significant number of below average performers, along with a handful of people who could be considered average in their roles. Rarely is there anyone on the team who could be considered top talent. Job performance is usually mediocre at best. Deadlines are often missed and expectations are rarely exceeded. Advancement opportunities are rare, prompting people to leave for other positions. When jobs open, it takes weeks or months to fill them.

Shaping the Future of Your Organization’s Talent

Talent rich businesses thrive while others struggle. Make maintaining high talent wealth throughout your company a top priority to ensure its success. Require that each department improve their ranking (or maintain their talent rich level if that’s already been achieved). Support department heads in filling open jobs and replacing subpar performers with quality hires. Work together with each department to set a goal and a deadline for this improvement, such as raising their current ranking one level or more by the end of the next business quarter. If you need help drawing in quality job candidates and conducting an efficient hiring process, my new book will show you how.

The flow of talent in your organization will determine its future, lifting careers or sinking them, including your own. Hire exceptional people. Help them to be the best versions of themselves. Offer them a path that elevates their careers and yours. Build and maintain a wealth of talent that makes your organization an unstoppable force in the marketplace.

This article originally appeared on Great Leadership with Dan McCarthy.

Scott WintripHow to Create a Rising Tide of Talent Within Your Organization
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The Competitive Advantage of Being Talent Rich

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When it comes to success in business, one measure alone can accurately predict the future—wealth of talent. The more talent wealth an organization has, the more successful that organization will be.

We’ve all experienced the benefits of organizations that are rich in talent. These are the companies we’ve come to love. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. People are the reason why Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon.com, and Starbucks remain some of the world’s most admired companies. That’s why having a wealth of talent is so important for all organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great.

Just as there are levels of personal wealth, so too are there levels of talent wealth within companies. Organizations that are talent rich are the trendsetters and chief innovators within their industries. At the other end of the spectrum are those businesses that are talent poor. These companies scramble to be competitive and frequently struggle to survive.

The message is clear: In order for your organization to thrive, it must have great talent. And building a wealth of talent begins with assessing your organization’s current circumstances. You’ll start by determining your current level of talent wealth. Next, you’ll enrich your pool of prospective employees by improving the flow of top talent, as well as enhancing how you attract talented people to join your company. Finally, you’ll ensure that your organization can sustain success by always having highly qualified people ready to hire the moment a job becomes open.

INTRODUCING THE TALENT WEALTH SPECTRUM

Is your organization talent rich, talent poor, or somewhere in between? Accurately appraising your current level of talent wealth will guide you in taking appropriate action to improve or maintain your competitive advantage.

Determining and increasing your talent wealth begins with understanding the four levels of talent wealth.

  • Talent Rich 
    Organizations that are talent rich excel, leading the way in their industries. They don’t worry about the competition; they’re the ones other companies are aspiring to become. They’re constantly several steps ahead, generating new ideas, including the latest innovations to products and services.
  • Talent Strong 
    Talent strong organizations operate efficiently and succeed in many things they do. These companies win more than they lose, outpacing many of their competitors. They’re fairly creative, sometimes being the ones to create the latest, greatest version of a product or service.
  • Talent Stable 
    Organizations that are talent stable spend each day competing with others, laboring to maintain their position in the market. These organizations watch for the latest trends or innovations and do their best to add them to their offerings.
  • Talent Poor 
    Talent poor companies scramble to get work done. Often, these organizations struggle to remain viable. They’re several steps behind their competitors. Frequently they offer the same products or services year after year, only occasionally copying the new offerings being provided by companies in the same business.

If you’re ready to improve your talent wealth, download the free, full report on this topic from ChangeThis.com.

Scott WintripThe Competitive Advantage of Being Talent Rich
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Improve the Gender Flow: How to Celebrate Women and Improve Your Organization

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International Women's DayI believe that all lives matter. Not just those that are black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor, male or female. Each life is important. Every person has a purpose.

Does this mean that the “lives matter” movements are unnecessary? No. Just the opposite. The need for these movements shows us that our world is imperfect and imbalanced. Raising a voice about one group does not diminish another. It calls to light that there’s still work to be done.

Today, International Women’s Day, is our opportunity to make progress. Since I focus on hiring, I suggest making progress in these four areas:

  1. Enrich the genders in your talent flow.
    Many organizations have an inconsistent flow of job candidates. Often, that flow contains more men than women. Tapping in to more female talent will give your organization the candidates you need and women more career opportunities.
  2. Speed up the hiring process.
    People’s lives are busier than ever. Multiple rounds of interviews drain valuable time and unnecessarily delay hiring decisions. Take a hard look at your hiring process and cut out wasted effort. You’ll have more time to get work done. The women and men who interview with you will gain back time to devote to their lives and families.
  3. Treat equal pay as a moral imperative.
    Pay people based upon the value they provide, not their gender. Rewarding value encourages all workers to keep delivering more value.
  4. Create a rising tide of talent.
    Organizations are only as strong as their leaders. Strong organizations gain strength from a variety of viewpoints from a variety of people. Supporting women in their succession into managerial and executive roles enriches your organization’s collective wisdom

Let’s honor and celebrate people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders. And on this day, this special day, take at least one action that will improve the lives and careers of women.

 

Scott WintripImprove the Gender Flow: How to Celebrate Women and Improve Your Organization
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Keep Top Talent on Deck

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Keep Top Talent on Deck

Sports analogies are common in the business world. They usually revolve around notions of cooperative team play, work ethic, and the value of self-sacrifice in pursuit of a common goal. All those comparisons are helpful and good, and effective managers use them all the time to motivate their employees to accomplish the mission of a business.

There’s one analogy that I think is perfect, though, which you may have never heard before: effective recruiting and hiring in the world of business is a lot like fielding a team in Major League Baseball (MLB). Think about it. Both businesses and ball clubs have to assemble groups of people—teams—that are required to work together well. The success of the business, or team, depends on it. But I have to admit that whereas baseball has the process dialed in, businesses can do better—and they could learn a lot from the big league teams.

The baseball rule book states that on any given day, a major league team in North America can suit-up 25 players. But that doesn’t mean each team has only 25 players to choose from. In fact, they have more. Many, many more.

Every major league team has an expanded roster with fifteen additional players who are immediately available if needed. Every team also has a farm system of seven to ten minor league teams. This gives them another 175 to 200 or more players to call on.

Chew on that. On any given business day—meaning game day—a team has a talent pool of over 200 players to fill just nine spots on the field. In the language of staffing and business, that translates to over twenty qualified applicants per position per day.

It doesn’t stop there.

Teams can trade players with other teams. They also employ talent scouts. These scouts work in countries across the globe, funneling additional talent to both the major and minor league clubs.

This coordinated approach is why MLB teams always have someone to fill every role the instant the role needs to be filled. A game is never cancelled because there aren’t enough players, and there’s never an open spot on the field. There are always nine players in the starting line-up. That’s actually one of the few things you can count on in the world.

Leaders in baseball know that it is not a matter of if they will need additional talent, but when they’ll need it. So, they spend a lot of time and money planning for the when.

Let’s think about this in terms of your company. Your roster of employees—your daily line-up—is changing all the time. People leave; jobs are created; promotions happen; new business comes in. All of which generates open seats. Just like baseball, it’s not a matter of if a job will open, but when it will open.

An effective minor league system for companies rarely exists. And when it does, it usually cannot supply enough talent the moment it is needed.

Imagine if your company had a farm system of aspiring applicants waiting in the wings, ready to step in and immediately accept open jobs. That would be a dream scenario for managers and owners. Businesses need a system like this. They also need a well thought out process that quickly adds quality talent to their active roster, i.e. their group of working employees. An ideal system would include ways in which businesses could accomplish the following goals:

Enhance Candidate Gravity
Creating a stronger pull on the market, called Candidate Gravity, requires drawing in more top talent more quickly. Most companies leverage a handful of resources and rely too heavily on the same methods as their competitors. One or two job boards are often used by the same companies in the same market. This is like several major league clubs all vying for the talent on one minor league team. It would never happen.

A robust flow of talent requires eight or more different recruiting resources. While referrals are still the best source for the highest quality candidates, many businesses also need to run events like open houses and engage a wide variety networking strategies. An obvious place to start is social media. Here are five additional ways to create a robust talent flow that are regularly overlooked:

  • Sponsoring and/or participating in user or trade specialty groups
  • Conducting content-rich workshops tailored to your candidate audience
  • Hosting happy hours that attract like-minded professionals to meet and mingle
  • Marketing at churches and community centers near your employment location
  • Cultivating relationships with industry appropriate professional associations

Build Talent Inventories
Instead of waiting for a job to come open (remember the when not if maxim), internal talent scouts should build a Talent Inventory—a roster of potential employees that is ready to be called up at any time. Even companies with a small recruiting staff can do this. All it takes is prioritization. For example, key roles that directly impact productivity could be considered core functions. Talent Inventories should be built for these jobs first. Other essential roles come next. If time permits, an inventory of potential talent is then lined up for ancillary roles.

If time and resources are limited, building a Talent Inventory for one or two core roles can make a huge impact. When (not if) jobs for those roles open up, they’re filled quickly from the Talent Inventory, which allows more time to work on filling other open seats.

Partner With External Talent Scouts
Businesses should engage external talent scouts such as third-party recruiters and staffing firms who can provide additional talent that is available for on-demand hiring for both contract and full-time roles. Not only do good staffing firms have an extensive network of candidates, but many also guarantee their services, offering replacement talent for a specified period of time.

To select a quality partner, be sure to ask questions and check references. Zero in on the five following areas:

FlexibilityFlexibility: What types of flexibility do they offer for the shifting needs of your business?

AccuracyAccuracy: What percentage of their candidates have to be replaced? How does their guarantee work?

QualityQuality: How do they ensure a quality fit? For which other companies have they provided similar, high-quality services?

ValueValue: Does the company have a one-sized fits all approach, or do they offer value-based solutions that meet your specific needs? If provided, what are the specifics of their unique, valuable solutions?

ImmediacyImmediacy: How quickly can they deliver candidates? How swiftly can they have someone working?  What proof can they provide of these promised timelines?

A winning record in baseball requires a continuous flow of talent, ready to play every game. The culture revolves around the concept of next player up. Every team has a group of motivated, talented individuals chomping at the bit to get to the big dance. The businesses that develops a similar culture will be a step ahead of the competition. They’ll have a stacked roster no matter what happens, because they’ll always have a group of motivated, talented individuals who can’t wait to work for them. And winning—in baseball and in business—always comes down to having the right people in place at the right time.

Scott WintripKeep Top Talent on Deck
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Removing the Repetitive

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Wintrip Consulting Group : Take No PrisonersTake No Prisoners is a free weekly memo from Scott Wintrip that explores how Radical Accountability prospers companies and changes lives. Instead of taking people hostage with outdated, heavy-handed, and ineffective methods of management, measurement, and motivation, Radical Accountability focuses on creating an unwavering responsibility for getting done what matters most.

The staffing and recruitment industry remains stuck in a past with a reputation that is often no better than that of used car salesmen, attorneys, and politicians. While it’s easy to blame this on the minority of people who are operating with poor ethical standards, the real problem is how we do business day to day. The methods and practices that perpetuate a poor reputation and the perception of being a commodity, are called Repetitive Practices.

Companies that have eliminated these Repetitive Practices are achieving higher revenues, increased profit margins, lower labor intensity, elimination of commoditized buying, and improved visibility and standing in the eyes of Empowered Buyers.

Here are some of the common Repetitive Practices these successful temp, contact, and direct hire firms have replaced with true Best and Innovative Practices. To assess the changes your firm needs to make, rate each Repetitive Practice in the list below with one of the following responses:

  • Yes, we do this at least some of the time
  • No, we don’t do this
  • I’m not sure if we do this

For any that you answered “Yes,” begin replacing those with true Best or Innovative Practices. You’ll find many of these in my blog and on GAIN. For those you’ve marked “I’m not sure,” take time to work with your staff to understand whether or not these Repetitive Practices exist anywhere in your company. Finally, for those marked “No,” make certain that these Repetitive Practices are being avoided by all staff throughout your company.

SALES AND RECRUITING REPETITIVE PRACTICES

  • Client or candidate control
  • Negotiating fees and bill rates (versus setting and sticking to your fees and rates)
  • Feature-benefit selling
  • MPC-Most Placeable Candidate presentations
  • Always Be Closing (you doing the closing versus getting clients and candidates to close themselves)
  • Skill marketing
  • Fee and rate reductions
  • Disclosing markups
  • A focus on time killing deals
  • Ruses (sourcing and research methods that involve lying)
  • Submitting resumes to generate interest
  • Traditional, open-ended questions
  • Behavioral interviewing

LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND STRATEGIC REPETITIVE PRACTICES

  • Providing customers with only one way of buying
  • Carrots and sticks as a leadership approach
  • Boot camps
  • Daylong training sessions
  • Strategic plans
  • Back to basics
  • A focus on getting employee buy-in
  • Succession planning
  • Employee engagement techniques
  • Motivating staff
  • Multi-tasking
  • Disciplinary actions and write-ups

This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Complete this assessment by the end of the week. Next week, start making improvements, one practice at a time, as noted above.


Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here: https://twitter.com/ScottWintrip
Every day I provide pithy pieces of advice and wisdom. Join the growing crowd who read these gems every day.

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Check out my podcast series called Simply Scott on iTunes.

If you’d like to reach me, email: scott@ScottWintrip.com or call my direct line: (727) 502-9182

Visit my web site: https://www.WintripConsultingGroup.com

Scott WintripRemoving the Repetitive
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Life Goes On and So Must Business

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Wintrip Consulting Group : Take No PrisonersTake No Prisoners is a free weekly memo from Scott Wintrip that explores how Radical Accountability prospers companies and changes lives. Instead of taking people hostage with outdated, heavy-handed, and ineffective methods of management, measurement, and motivation, Radical Accountability focuses on creating an unwavering responsibility for getting what matters most done.

Redundant systems and a co-pilot who can take over if the pilot suddenly becomes ill have made commercial flight safe and efficient. Long-haul flights even carry a second crew, ensuring there are enough qualified people to do the job of flying no matter what occurs. Sports teams also have redundant people as they plan for inevitable injuries and fatigue by having a second and even third string of players ready to take the field at a moment’s notice.

These types of redundancies are often lacking in businesses of all sizes, making them vulnerable when life happens — illness, attrition, death, and childbirth, just to a name a few. A variety of excuses justify this lack of preparedness, such as affordability, practicality, and even denial that this will ever be an issue. When done right, being ready delivers ROI many times any cost, which is often very little or nothing at all.

Role redundancy ensures that critical tasks and vital roles are fully and competently covered, no matter what. Organizations engaging in this Radical Accountability best practice suffer zero downtime or loss of production when an employee is out. People who have been prepared to serve as “co-pilots” on important tasks and functions are happier and more well-rounded employees who are more likely to stay with the company longer given how the company is investing in their development.

This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Make your goal to have critical task redundancy by year-end and complete role redundancy be the end of next year. Create tasks and milestones with due dates now to ensure this happens on time.


Ready to have a more engaged and productive workforce? Join Scott for Accelerating Employee Engagement on September 24th. Learn more…

Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here: https://twitter.com/ScottWintrip
Every day I provide pithy pieces of advice and wisdom. Join the growing crowd who read these gems every day.

You may subscribe and encourage others to subscribe by clicking here.

Check out my podcast series called Simply Scott on iTunes.

If you’d like to reach me, email: scott@ScottWintrip.com or call my direct line: (727) 502-9182

Visit my web site: https://www.WintripConsultingGroup.com

Scott WintripLife Goes On and So Must Business
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Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That: Sweet Brown’s Sage Wisdom for Corporations

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An April 2012 Oklahoma City television news interview gone viral has now reached tens of millions of people across the globe who’ve heard Sweet Brown’s  famous words:

“Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

While Brown was referring to the choking smoke from an apartment fire that aggravated her bronchitis, this catchy phrase is sound advice for businesspeople. Here are seven things successful companies ain’t got time for:

  1. Poor planning, ineffective strategies, and inconsistent follow through
    These three issues alone equate to billions of dollars in opportunity cost.
  2. Customers who demand value, yet don’t want to pay for it
    This parasitic type of relationship stunts the growth and success of too many companies.
  3. Complex processes that drain time, energy, and resources
    Simple is much more sustainable.
  4. Supposed best practices that no longer work
    Just because something has always been done a certain way does not make it right for current circumstances.
  5. Leaders who delay termination
    When it’s time to let go, it must be done swiftly and compassionately as this benefits everyone involved.
  6. Reactive hiring practice
    Once a seat is open, harm is already being done because of increased workloads, lost opportunities, added stress, and damaged morale. Active lines of succession and talent pipelines keep seats filled and work flowing.
  7. Work-life imbalance
    Exhausted people make poor decisions and engage in shoddy work. Self -care and time for family should be part of every employees’ job description.

When Brown said, “Oh Lord Jesus, it’s a fire,” she spoke of the blaze that drove her from her home. That’s not the only thing that’s smoldering as companies burn through people, money, and resources when challenges, such as those above, go unaddressed.

So grab yourself a “cold pop” and make time to resolve these issues.

Scott WintripAin’t Nobody Got Time for That: Sweet Brown’s Sage Wisdom for Corporations
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