Groves, K. S. 2007. Integrating leadership development and succession planning best practices. Journal of Management Development, 26(3): 239-260.
Summary: This article begins by informing the reader of various leadership development challenges that organizations of all sizes and industries encounter. Due to a lack of understanding the importance of best practice leadership, organizations can critically damage their future success. The author points out those depriving high-potential candidates of critical work experience will ultimately create shortfalls for employees to attain senior-level positions once the current CEOs are retired. On top of that, remaining deficient in the resources necessary for employee development, and the inability to adapt to a rapidly aging workforce, also creates underperformance for employees. These processes include mentoring, networking and action learning. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to better understand how organizations can implement these processes effectively in the healthcare industry.
I. The author begins by presenting “workforce statistics that pose a severe challenge as the baby boomer generation retires and far fewer college-educated workers are prepared to replace them” (240).
a. A lack of personal networks and mentoring programs decreases morale; therefore, employees do not completely understand what it takes to be successful in their roles.
b. “Companies are successful to the extent that they have leaders at all levels of the organization.”(241)
c. Career advancement challenges for women and people of color are also present in corporate environments that discourage networking opportunities and/or promote stereotyping.
i. Therefore, in this section the author concludes that identifying these challenges and executing leadership and succession planning on a diverse level are just as important.
ii. Whenever possible, requiring diverse candidacy for employment (qualified women and people of color), has been known to reap better results for an organization.
II. The next section of the article declares research evidence suggests that many successful companies overcome these and other challenges by combining leadership development and succession planning processes.
a. This evidence originated after the review and study of 30 CEOs and senior human resource executives in the healthcare field.
i. The healthcare industry was targeted specifically because it faces challenging hurdles to effective leadership development; “CEOs believe there is a shortage of healthcare leaders who are prepared to assume executive roles in the future.” (242)
b. Again, the lack of resources, proper mentoring, and developmental opportunities drive away many employees.
c. Based on the results, the author concludes that best practices leadership development methods included: 360-degree feedback, executive coaching, mentoring, networking, job assignments, and action learning.