As Kirk Kramer and Preeta Nayak wrote in in the Bridgespan Group’s pamphlet “Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders,” developing new leaders for your organization can be an overwhelming task. This leaves many managers wondering where to start. There's no need to wonder anymore, though, as the two authors came up with five steps that will help your organization get on the path to developing strong leaders.
The five steps are:
- Engage Your Senior Leaders: If you are a CEO just launching your leadership development efforts, begin by telling your senior team that it is important that they develop as individuals and that you’ll help each of them to do so. Ask each member of the senior team to add a personal — and organizational — development objective to annual goals.
- Understand Your Future Needs: Gather your senior team for a once-a-year offsite meeting to discuss where your organization is going and the potential of their direct reports to move into more senior roles.
- Develop Your Future Leaders: Meet twice a year with each of your direct reports to discuss their progress against their leadership development goals.
- Hire Externally to Fill Gaps: Identify the areas where you will likely need to hire externally to meet your future needs and those where you should aim to build capacity from within.
- Monitor and Improve Your Practices: Set targets for accomplishing the work of the previous items on this list. Next, report on your organization’s progress against those targets to your senior team and the board. Finally, determine leadership development priorities for the coming year.