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Blog : Grow your own

Blog

Grow your own


Purple Cubed have a fantastic track record of developing and growing great people. Seeing as our business is focused on enabling organisations to do the same you would expect us to practice what we preach.

And yes, clearly I'm biased, but our recent move to promote five members of our leadership team to the board shows a real trust in our people’s potential as well as a clear message internally and externally that Purple Cubed is a great environment to develop and grow your career.

It is however far more common to hear about organisations that aren’t doing quite so well by their people, executives leaving or being managed out, sending shivers through the corporate world, resulting in decreasing share price and market confidence. It strikes me that succession planning is business critical and an obvious focus area for leaders, so it was a real surprise to see statistics, released by the Corporate Leadership Council;

Nearly 60% of organisations report that they are experiencing a leadership shortage right now, an increase of 40 percentage points from just one year ago.

Some organisations seem to really 'get' the importance of succession planning, whereas others fall well behind. Only this week Sainsbury’s infamous CEO; Justin King who has turned around the company in his 10 years, tripling profits, announced he will be departing later this year. Along with the announcement came news of his successor. One of his admired lieutenants and current commercial director; Mike Coupe is stepping up to the plate. This was a measured, well thought out and planned appointment which of course makes the loss of a great CEO, slightly easier for investors to take. Incidentally following the news of this change there was an immediate drop in share price of 5%, but this did rally before the end of the day.

Conversely, back in October 2013, when the announcement of Angela Ahrendts's move from the helm of Burberry to Apple was announced the value of Burberry dropped by £330 million in just a few hours. It didn't help that the Finance Director had stepped down six months earlier and that neither departure had a successor lined up, leading to a well-documented crisis within the organisation.

Whether you are a succession planning success story, or feeling nervous about how you will fill the shoes of your leaders in years to come, here are a few tips that will enable a culture of developing leaders from within:

  • ALWAYS recruit for attitude and personality, skills can be taught to the right people; listen to what the psychometrics are telling you. We use job EQ’s iWAM tool
  • Promote a culture of leadership at all levels – so everyone is encouraged to take ownership and challenge one another to drive performance
  • Have career and performance conversations with team members on a regular basis; using an automated system such as our Talent Toolbox gives a clear indication of where people want to get to as well as managing expectations
  • Encourage individuals to drive their own development
  • Discuss succession and potential on a monthly basis, or encourage your leadership team/board to do so
  • In order to measure risk of leaving ask people ‘on a scale of 1-10 how happy are you?’ and ‘What do we need to do to get you to a 10?’ do this as regularly as possible
  • Offer mentoring to realise individual potential

We’re currently recruiting, so if you know anyone that would like to work somewhere that offers the above click here

Jon is the Operations Director at Purple Cubed, he came for one year and stayed for ten. If you’d like to chat with him about succession planning email jon@purplecubed.com
 

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