Designing the process of leadership transition

Transition planning can be one of the more complex challenges that firms face. Effective plans begin by determining the gap between a firm’s current state and the future it envisions for itself. SPONSORED CONTENT

July 21, 2014 |
Steven Burns

Photo: iosphere via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who are the leaders that will shape the future of your firm?

That’s an essential question for AEC firms to resolve, writes Greenway Group Principal Bob Fisher in a Design Intelligence post.

“Leaders can attract and inspire the right teams to make great work in a well-managed enterprise, or they can create an environment of mistrust and mediocrity that brings down a formerly thriving practice,” he says.

But transition planning can be one of the more complex challenges that firms face. Effective plans begin by determining the gap between a firm’s current state and the future it envisions for itself.

Here are some key questions he suggests asking:

  • Do we have the right leadership organization to accomplish our strategy?
  • Do we have the right leadership roles and positions in place?
  • Do we have the right purpose descriptions for our leadership roles and positions?
  • What are the key indicators of success for each role?
  • What are the gaps that could prevent us from implementing our strategy?

Answers to these and other questions will help determine whether to pursue a significant redesign of your organizational structure or a simple realignment of roles.

“The gap analysis and organizational assessment exposes redundancy or lack of clarity in leadership roles,” Fisher continues. “The implementation phase provides an excellent opportunity to address these issues.”

Implementation frequently includes a combination of people-focused initiatives such as:

  • Leadership identification: selecting candidates based on evidence of innate potential.
  • Individual development plans: customized programs that equip emerging and future leaders with the knowledge, skills and abilities to lead.
  • Professional/executive coaching: a complement to knowledge and skill training that synthesizes other types of learning and develops the whole person as a leader.
  • Structured or informal mentoring: conscious effort to transfer knowledge and wisdom on key topics like leadership, management, business development and culture.
  • External talent attraction and acquisition: finding talent to fill gaps that cannot be addressed by developing internal staff.

Successful plans also account for transitioning client relationships and maintaining alignment and support among staff who are not moving into leadership roles.

“Leadership transition can be mistaken for a one-time deal in which current leaders can rest once the right bodies are in place,” Fisher writes. “However, top firms see leadership transition in the same light as strategic planning or communication: it’s an ongoing cycle and natural part of running the organization.” 

Read more from Design Intelligence. 

Editor's note: This is sponsored content. The text was provided by the sponsor company. 

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development.

Related Blogs

Why it’s so hard to figure out what to pay top talent
April 03, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

Is your firm’s approach to compensation effective in today’s rapidly changing talent market?

Are face-to-face meetings still important?

It’s particularly important for sensitive communication, when having tone and body language for context makes a difference.

March 17, 2015 | The Business Behind Design

One CEO looks pass convenience and advocates for old school, in-person meetings.

How to give feedback effectively

If initial feedback doesn’t resonate, effective leaders also know how to turn up the pressure in a way that is progressive, but not too sharp.

March 06, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

A great feedback-giving leader evaluates the individual

What your employees really want

Employers can support employees' personal growth by encouraging them to take courses online or be mentored by more senior employees. Photo courtesy of Evan Bench/Wikimedia Commons.

February 24, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

Here are key aspects of a job that keep employees happy

Why diversity at work matters

In the U.S., there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance, a study by McKinsey found. Photo: Monisha Pushparaj/Wikimedia Commons

February 17, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

Companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial r...

The 4 leadership behaviors that really matter McKinsey & Company

Using a comprehensive list of 20 distinct leadership traits, McKinsey surveyed 189,000 people in 81 diverse organizations around the world.

January 30, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

It includes seeking diverse perspectives and supporting others.

December 26, 2014 | The Business Behind Design

Successful innovators care about solving interesting and important problems — innovation is merely a byprod...

December 19, 2014 | The Business Behind Design

There are many reasons why people quit: employee mismatch, work/life balance, co-worker conflicts, relocati...

Photo: mapichai vie FreeDigitalPhotos.net

December 16, 2014 | The Business Behind Design

Replacing the names on the door can be tricky for AEC firms. SPONSORED CONTENT

Photo: mapichai via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

November 26, 2014 | The Business Behind Design

A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that employees were 26% more satisfi...

 

Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
Overlay Init