Stormy financial seas may require a reduction in force. Which leaders to keep on board? And which to help  ashore? Difficult decisions about leaving truly good leaders behind are made harder by the need to make these decisions quickly. Survival may depend on it.

You look to find existing data to help assess the strength of the leadership team in place and the strength of the leadership bench behind them. Every organization has performance data. And perhaps surprisingly, after all that work, it is of little help. Why? Because the overall scores fail to distinguish the superior from the merely adequate leaders. For example, on a five point scale 1 being unsatisfactory and 5 meaning exemplary performance, almost everyone is rated 3.5 or 4 in overall performance.

And that is only part of the problem with usefulness of performance data in this situation. More often than not performance data is a manager-to-subordinate unilateral rating with maybe a “one level up” approval. Candid and focused leadership team consensus discussions have not occurred that would increase rating accuracy. This is also the reason many organizations tolerate leaders who chronically under perform in the wrong job or the at the wrong level.

And finally, trimming leadership ranks requires conversations about individual leader potential to do a different job. A job that requires different knowledge, is larger, more varied, more complex or perhaps all of the above.

Success Associates can help. You assemble the executive team and the management team below them (separately or together). The answers are in the room. We provide the framework to assist you to achieve the results you need quickly.

In as little as six weeks we have previously helped deliver a complete succession plan to a chairman on the organization’s 150 top leaders on two continents; including implementation of software to create the reports, easily create existing and “what if” organization charts to discuss possible reorganization scenarios and to support the ongoing process.

In summary, we share how to collect and analyze a small number of fresh judgments about leaders. We frame meeting agendas and provide facilitation guidelines. Our agendas drive focused consensus discussions on relevant data. It amounts to multi-rater input which not only increases accuracy, it creates content validity that underpins and makes defensible your specific reduction in force decisions.  For those leaders that remain in new or expanded roles our software includes the ability to create, track and report on individual learning plans that provide targeted and meaningful learning to ensure successful transition to the new role. Stock options now under water? Major studies in 2008 show that organization emphasis on career development is still the number one driver of executive retention.

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Brain Drain – Predict Open Positions

Top 12 Reasons - Succession Planning

Downsizing – Get it Right

Motivate Key Leaders

People Produce Profits


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