Succession Planning

Most organizations don’t have a succession bench and those that do, by their own admission, admit that the succession bench is too “shallow.” NetForm provides a solution to this challenge by scanning the organization to identify future leaders from among a certain set of networks and type of connection. After testing these algorithms over 20 years, this approach has been successfully implemented in the NIH (the Division of AIDS), International Paper, U.S. Army and the British government in public-private partnerships. NetForm produces a list of high potential employees which is then vetted. If there are individuals on that list who are also on the established succession short list, it means those individuals have been validated by two approaches – all systems “go”.  If there are individuals on the established short list that do not appear on the NetForm list, it may indicate that those individuals could use additional coaching regarding relationship or network management. In this way, the firm avoids the TYPE I statistical error which means the favored hypothesis (read: “our appointed successor”] was wrongly selected and didn’t work out. This is the most costly error a firm can make because the “appointed one” fails and takes others down with him or her. By providing these individuals with additional coaching, TYPE I errors can be avoided. If there are individuals on the NetForm list that are not on the established short list, this means that potential leaders may be missed or overlooked. In this way, NetForm provides a way of validating others and avoiding the TYPE II statistical errors. By identifying other high potential employees early-on, HR specialists can provide additional coaching regarding hierarchical management and thereby add these high potentials to the established short list, thereby deepening the succession bench. This approach has been practiced by the NIH, US Army, UK government and private sector firms such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab and International Paper.

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