תפקידם של אנשי משאבי אנוש בהמשכיות ניהולית

ד"ר גיל בוצר, המחלקה לניהול המשאב האנושי

בשנים האחרונות אנו עדים לכתיבה ענפה בנושא המשכיות ניהולית בעיתונים הפופולאריים ובכתבי עת מדעיים, אולם למרבה הצער סוגיה זו ממשיכה להוות אתגר אסטרטגי משמעותי עבור חברי מועצות המנהלים בארגונים. סקר שפורסם לאחרונה מדווח כי יותר ממחצית הארגונים נעדרים תוכנית להמשכיות ניהולית. מה ניתן לעשות כדי לתקן מצב עגום זה? אחד הפתרונות האפשריים מתבטא בעבודה משותפת וצמודה של אנשי משאבי אנוש וחברי מועצת המנהלים על תכנון המשכיות ניהולית תוך יישום מודל עבודה הנשען על ארבעה מרכיבים חיוניים: זיהוי מיומנויות נדרשות, מיסוד קריטריונים ברורים לבחירת מחליף, הלימה בין ערכי הליבה הארגוניים לערכים האישיים של המחליף ואימון בתהליך העברת שרביט הניצוח הארגוני.

המאמר, שכתב ד"ר גיל בוצר, המחלקה לניהול המשאב האנושי במכללת ספיר בשיתוף עם  ד"ר Joseph C. Santora פורסם במגזין דצמבר של כתב העת היוקרתי באיטלקית HBRI - Harvard Business Review.

לנוחיותכם, המאמר באנגלית

HR’s Expanding Role in Executive Succession | Joseph C. Santora | Gil Bozer

In recent years, writings on executive succession have been plentiful in the popular press and in academic circles. Unfortunately, the news about executive succession is not so good for the most part. For example, the issue of succession planning continues to pose serious challenges for many boards of directors. Writing in MIT Sloan Management Review, Hooijberg and Lane (“How boards botch CEO succession,” 2016) found that more than 50 percent of board members surveyed indicated that their companies did not have a succession plan. So, what can be done to remedy such a dreadful situation? One possible solution is for HR and boards to work collaboratively in the executive succession process by executing the 4 Cs: competencies, criteria, core values, and coaching.

  1. Identify those competencies boards seek in their CEOs. Competencies are a person’s abilities or capabilities in a position that often serve as a critical differentiator and predictor of performance. Psychologist David McClelland, writing in the American Psychologist (“Testing for competence rather than intelligence,” 1973), argued that competencies are a major imperative predictors of job success. When CEO competencies are aligned with role responsibilities and tasks, the results are dramatic and performance is maximized. For example, a person who possesses cognitive competencies (e.g., systematic thinking and agility), emotional competencies (e.g., self-awareness and self-control), and social competencies (e.g., readiness and ability to function and engage in various environments) is most likely to deliver an outstanding performance as a leader. HR, working directly with boards, can design competency guidelines so companies can recruit, select, and hire the best candidate for the position of CEO.

  2. Establish criteria for selecting a successor. HR can help a board develop appropriate strategic guidelines to select a successor. For example, if a board is predisposed to insiders as successors, HR can raise the question “To what degree should the successor be similar to or different from the predecessor’s leadership style and organizational strategy?” Knowing this important type of information may help determine if the insider has the “right stuff” to lead the organization. Another compelling question to ask is “Should a search also be conducted for an external candidate as a more realistic replacement?” Understanding the best and most effective criteria to identify potential successors also allows HR to make informed decisions on targeting the right people and using effective recruitment channels.

  3. Align a successor’s personal and organizational core values with those of the organization. Management guru Peter Drucker, writing in the Harvard Business Review (“Managing oneself,” 1999), championed the view that "to be effective in an organization, a person’s values must be compatible with the organization’s values. This principal becomes even more critical when evaluating and selecting a CEO. They do not need to be the same, but they must be aligned enough to co-exist. "As a key organizational change agent, HR must help align a suitable prospective CEO successor with the organization’s culture—including core values, vision, and philosophy—to ensure that the successor holds cultural and core values that reflect the culture and values of the organization.

  4. Recruit a coach for the successor. A prevailing viewpoint is that seasoned executives are just that seasoned. And, as such, they do not need a coach. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many times, CEO’s successors often encounter a feeling of loneliness and even isolation at the top. In such cases, there is a pressing need for an independent ear—a neutral person without a personal agenda who will listen and serve as a sounding board for the CEO. An external coach can help less seasoned and first-time executive successors sidestep some pitfalls and ease them through the initial stages of their transition. Coaching leaders is not new, as INSEAD professor Kets de Vries tells us in his Harvard Business Review article (“Coaching the toxic leader,” 2014). Former highly experienced retired executives often make great coaches. HR has a significant role to play here by helping to match a coach with a successor.

Competencies, criteria, core values, and coaching are four essential ingredients for identifying, developing, and selecting a best-fit successor for a departing CEO. If people are indeed the most important assets of an organization, then it is natural that HR aid a board in finding the “best” successor. Miscasting a successor is one of the worst mistakes any organization can make, and one for which HR and the board will pay dearly.

Joseph C. Santora
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Management, Ecole des Ponts Business School, Paris. Expertise in leadership, change and executive succession and transition. Has taught executives worldwide and as consulted with more than two dozen organizations in the US and Europe. Serves on nine editorial boards and is the founder and editor of International Leadership Journal.
He can be contacted at jcsantora1@gmail.com

Gil Bozer
Faculty at Sapir College, Israel, and teaches executive coaching, management and leadership. Has presented at many international conferences and published in a variety of academic and practitioner journals. Co-leads global research at the Association for Coaching and is an associate editor of the International Leadership Journal and editorial board member of the Development & Learning in Organization: An International Journal.
He can be contacted at gilbotzer@gmail.com

 

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