1. Take your long-term future capability planning seriously. Flesh out your future state. Understand your current reality. Identify current people with the talent required to fill future roles and follow through to give them training to build knowledge, practice to build skills, and the right assignments to gain relevant experience.
2. Fill your future talent gaps as soon as practical. The earlier you can bring future leaders onboard, the smoother their future leadership transitions will be. And align your succession and contingency planning with your future capability planning.
3. Understand the risks of bringing new leaders in just-in-time to fill empty roles. Avoid it if you can and over-invest to make it work when you must.
Mary Vonnegut, Ed Bancroft and I published our books on Onboarding, and The Total Onboarding Program over ten years ago, proposing an integrated approach to aligning organizations and then acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating talent. We also suggested 11 “master-class” ideas. Here’s what we said about those then and what we’ve learned since.