Last year, a Harvard Business School professor and an organizational behavior researcher surveyed more than 1,000 board members across 59 countries. They found that by and large, boards are concerned that their companies fail in training and developing their most important asset: talent.
Stanford, in partnership with the Institute of Executive Development, conducted a survey that yielded similar results. What this survey found was that board members care and worry about succession planning and see most companies as lacking a pipeline to groom and select leaders, particularly for the C-suite.
Talent has always been important, but in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, domain knowledge is more critical, and thus talent is more critical. The Harvard study revealed that boards today see talent development and retaining top talent as critical to developing a competitive advantage. Boards have begun to realize that talent management must be integrated into long-term strategic goals to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. Building a clear and actionable succession plan is also perceived as mitigating risk.
That boards are seeing talent development as mission critical is a good sign for HR executives. Increasingly, HR teams have the support of boards to invest in leadership training and talent development programs. The question then becomes—what kind of training programs fit company culture? And what will successful training look like and produce? How can companies ensure that results are sustainable and lasting?
What is your company doing to develop and maintain talent?