Determining Organizational Requirements

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All organizations do not share identical requirements for SP&M programs. Differences

exist owing to the organization’s industry, size, stage of maturity,

management values, internally available expertise, cost, time, and other considerations.

Past surveys confirm that these issues—and others—can affect the

appropriate design of SP&M programs.4

However, top management goals are always key considerations. What do

top managers believe to be essential for a SP&M program? The most important

questions on which to focus attention might include the following:

How eager are top managers and other decision-makers to systematize

the organization’s SP&M process(es)?

How much time and attention are decision-makers willing to devote to

assessing key position requirements? Identifying leadership competencies?

Identifying success factors for advancement in the organization?

Conducting multirater assessments? Appraising individual performance?

Preparing and implementing individual development plans (IDPs)

to ensure the efficient preparation of individuals for advancement into

key positions?

How stable is the current organizational structure? Work processes? Can

either—or both—be reliably used to plan for leadership continuity or

replacements?

How willing are decision-makers to devote resources to cultivating talent

from within?

How much do decision-makers prefer to fill key position vacancies from

inside rather than from outside the organization?

How willing are decision-makers to use innovative alternatives to simple

replacements from within?

Begin determining the essential requirements of an SP&M program by interviewing

top managers. Pose the questions appearing above. Add others as pertinent

to the organization. (As a starting point, use the interview guide

appearing in Exhibit 5-6 for this purpose.) Then prepare and circulate a written

proposal for an SP&M program that conforms to the consensus opinion of

key decision-makers.