Leadership capabilities are essential for all organizations. Leaders are enablers that deliver vision, context, challenges and support (the “what” and “why”) and provide resources so that people can perform their work (the “how”). They can get things done. But Leadership, as an “asset”, must be curated, in terms of culture (traits, role models), competences and… future sustainability. That brings us to the leadership resourcing issue.
There are, as we all know, two main leadership (or talent sources). In-house, within our company´s talent pool or in the outside world, in other companies or industries. Both have to be considerer and effective processes have to defined to address them.
Regardind internal leadership, companies should design their corporate talent mapping. In pratical terms, what would be the talent and leadership skills necessary to support the business strategy for the coming years? Do we have them already onboard? Do they have the right skillsets? Do we have to develop them in any way? With this “macro” talent and leadership audit, we can focus on streamlined projects like talent assessment, leadership readiness and others that allow us, on regular basis, to know who are the future leaders we have with us. And, therefore, invest on relevant development projects (from micro-learnings or learning hubs to executive coaching). In fact, it is a good cultural/ organizational trait to promote mobility and leadership opportunities to your talent pool – it drives ambition, commitment and talent retention.
But in some cases, business, culture or digital transformations require a change-oriented mindset that will come from the outside. External sourced leaders can bring innovation, diversity, critical thinking – sometimes from different industry backgrounds or cultural approaches. In this case, projects of external leadership mapping (balanced with an effective EVP and employer branding) can turn strategies into action. And bring great leaders to support our vision and strategy.
In sum, companies should keep their options open and care for the two realities: focus on creating a great corporate culture and talent processes to nurture future leaders; and deploy strategies for attracting strong and value-adding leaders.
Managing Partner of Darefy – Leadership & Change Builders