Succession Planning – Part 2
Developing people to their full potential
A personal training and development plan is a given in all successful businesses, but how do you know if you’re developing people to their full potential? A definition of coaching which resonates with me is: to realise people’s full potential whilst holding them accountable for results. I brought in a very experienced coach, Gareth Chick to develop every manager and team leader to become effective coaches. We recognised that for those being coached we needed to create an understanding of what coaching was all about, therefore everyone in the business received training on how to coach and be coached. This had a profound effect on people across the business – many started to apply the fundamentals of coaching at home. More importantly in the business, people started to understand how to unleash each other’s potential.
Here are 5 of the many coaching questions we used:
What would you do if you had to decide right now?
What bothers you most about this?
What experience can you call upon to help you?
What is the right thing to do?
When are you going to make it happen?
During the process of coaching, you are helping the person to a position of total clarity and maximum commitment for what they need to do. The temptation is to offer a solution when the person in front of you doesn’t appear to have an answer to the problem. You must resist that temptation! It’s not easy, but once I got the hang of coaching, I took great delight in those light-bulb moments, when the person I was coaching ‘got it’ and left the meeting feeling clear and resolved in what they were going to do. The trick then is to let them get on with it – even if you don’t agree 100% with the way they’re going about it. It’s surprising how rarely you have to prove them wrong.
In succession planning, it’s not just your replacement you need to think about, it’s the future leaders across the business. This can be transformed into a talent mapping process linked to the needs of the business; people with the potential to take on more responsible roles are identified, encouraged and developed. Among many examples of people who developed to more senior roles in the Rooflight Company are:
- Steve Webber, started as Rooflight Assembly worker, now Managing Director.
- Sarah Trueman, started as Customer Service Co-ordinator, now Production Manager
- Gill Ferriera, started as Customer Service Co-ordinator, now Purchasing Manager
- Simon Pitcher, started as Rooflight Assembly Worker, now Operations Director