Why Talent Succession Planning Fails and What To Do About It

“If current practice in succession planning works, how come the wrong people so often get to the top? And why is it still twice as hard for a talented woman to get promoted than her male counterpart?” After seven years of interviews and research around the world, David Clutterbuck confirmed what had been suspected all along — are large part of standard HR practice doesn’t work. Worse, it is actually part of the talent management problem — standard performance appraisals, nine-box grids and talent identification processes are deeply flawed and ineffective. The problem is that most of these tools and processes are the product of simple, linear systems thinking, when the relationship between talent and employer organisations is s complex adaptive system, constantly evolving.

Evidence grows that not only senior management but also HR itself has lost confidence in talent management and succession planning. In a recent study of European business leaders and senior HR professionals, David’s continuing research found no aspect of talent management that a majority of either group felt was working well. It is not surprising then, then a total rethink of talent management is needed and indeed is already taking place in some global companies.

The Talent Wave sets out an agenda for change, based on four fundamental conversations that need to happen continuously to make talent management and succession planning viable, effective and dynamic processes.. It is, in effect, a recipe for radical change in how we look at and interact with the talent, upon which our organisations’ futures depend.

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