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DDI: Best-Practices in Building the Leadership Pipeline

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Sat Nov 20 2010

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Organizational focus on succession management will continue to grow as a result by the limited and narrowing skilled labor market, according to recent research by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), underwritten by Development Dimensions International (DDI).

How Best-in-Class organizations address the pressures of a tightened labor market, as well as the results they've achieved by doing so, are highlighted in the new benchmark report by Aberdeen Group, Succession Management: Addressing the Leadership Development Challenge. Aberdeen revealed that the foundation of an effective succession management program lies in a solid competency framework as well as a standardized performance management process.

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In fact, organizations that achieved Aberdeen's Best-in-Class designation for this study are 45% more likely than all other organizations to have clearly defined success profiles (knowledge, experience, competencies and personal attitudes) for key positions.

"When it comes to identifying high-potential talent, it is critical to evaluate their performance equally," said Jayson Saba, senior research associate, human capital management at Aberdeen. "Viewing succession candidates through the same looking glass allows organizations to compare apples to apples and make better decisions for selecting leadership candidates."

Moreover, this research highlights the importance of establishing accountability at the management ranks for ensuring a qualified leadership pipeline. To this point, Best-in-Class organizations are 62% more likely than Laggard organizations to have a systematic process where senior managers regularly review the performance and progress of high-potentials enrolled in development programs.

According to Kevin Martin, Aberdeen's vice president and principal analyst for human capital management, "this research compliments and reinforces research we've conducted across other elements of talent management, specifically performance management and learning and development, where we see Best-in-Class organizations view employee development more as a collective effort rather than an individual's sole responsibility".

The research also found that integrating succession data with other talent management elements has yielded great benefits in terms of workforce knowledge management. Best-in-Class organizations are more than twice as likely as Laggards to integrate succession data with performance management and learning and development applications. Saba added, "Integrating talent management data provides organizations more visibility into the development of high-potentials and improves their decision-making ability when it comes to determining promotion readiness."

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