By Leanne Crozier, Director and Co-founder of Decipher Group

This is a question that I have pondered a couple of times already in 2021 as I have seen internal talent overlooked for the promise of what an external appointment can deliver. What is stopping our Boards from taking on internal talent and how do we turn the tide?

These two questions are totally interlinked as I believe that Boards look externally as they do not see the capability within the Executive Team to take on the top job and deliver to the strategy of the organisation. But surely this in itself is a shortcoming of the Board and the out-going CEO.

Why is there no one in the Executive Team who is ready? Were they not hired to be able to lead? Was there no development plan for the executive to acquire the needed skills? Was there not a clear strategy for the business to form the basis of the development plan?

Surely if we took a step back and thought about:

  1. What is our plan and what capability do we need to deliver this?
  2. Do we have the right culture in place to deliver this?
  3. What talent do we need in the business to provide us with the capability to deliver the strategy?
  4. How do we ensure that we have enduring capability to deliver this and future strategies (i.e. an embedded culture of succession)?

Then wouldn’t a Board and a CEO be able to recruit Tier Two and Three talent with a future performance focus that could be properly and individually developed to ensure that no one person holds total accountability. If we had truly high performing executive and Tier Three teams, then surely joint accountability would drive results now and well into the future and succession planning is done – it’s embedded in the foundation of the organisation.

A Board or CEO may argue that we have the risk of not bringing in new ideas but surely if we have a strategic approach to development then we can provide opportunities for connections with thought leaders and development from all corners of the globe to ensure that new ideas are considered and brought to the table, time and time again.

I’m not saying, don’t go through a robust recruitment process (of course I’m not!) but utilise a process that critically assesses your internal capability, validating an existing executive to take on the role while ensuring that all development needs – of each internal candidate – are clearly defined and a plan implemented.

This is a critical issue in a time of tight talent and team members demanding to be developed. Let’s put real thought into this and stop overlooking the best internal talent – those who will no doubt become successful leaders of competitor businesses if we are not careful.

The Decipher Team

To stay on top of current recruitment trends and technologies follow Decipher Group on LinkedIn.

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