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Succession planning for Global Manufacturing company

Case Study

Succession planning for Global Manufacturing company

The board of this company had decided to have a look at management potential in the business. It had an appraisal system internally, but couldn’t work out leadership potential within the management population from an unbiased viewpoint.

As the company was moving towards a potential MBO and had rolling succession potential it was looking at succession to director/board level and from management to senior management/leadership.

The company chair met Linda Doe at an IoD session and invited her to come for an initial informal conversation at one of the board meetings and have a look at the premises and the products. From there, and further discussions, she came up with a proposal.

Good relationships with everyone

After some initial data gathering and psychometric testing Linda and the Apana team then understood the existing potential in the firm.

From there Linda got to know the employees in depth through 1-1 assessment and conversation earning everyone’s trust through her professionalism and confidentiality.

A senior manager said: “We worked with Linda to identify gaps in our talent and potential, against our business needs going forward. We were enabled to give candid and open feedback to each other through a 360 process, 1-1 confidential explorations and as a team with Linda’s facilitation. The outcome was what we termed our “patchwork quilt of talent”, which identified talent gaps and recruitment needs.

“Linda then supported us to recruit, through a bespoke assessment process, designed specifically for our firm and our requirements for personality and culture fit.

“Making sure of cultural fit with our business and fit with our dynamics at Exec/Board level was crucial for us.”

Finding out the best about our employees

The Managing Director said: “Our work with Linda has put mental health and work-life balance on the continued agenda.

“It’s very important that other organisations should look from outside at their organisation, rather than try to see things solely from their own perspective: you are too involved in it and can’t do it objectively.

“Working with Linda gave us tools to help us make decisions, gave us independent data and insight, which you can’t get from HR or managers.

“The external testing categorised people well – and reaffirmed our observations of individuals’ capabilities and how best to place them in the business and to develop and support them to get the best from them.

“People felt more valued by the business because they have been listened to deeply and in confidence.”

A glowing recommendation

The former Managing Director said: “Working 1-1 with Linda gave me honest and impartial feedback and observation – and we were able to have fun and put things in perspective at times.

“Working with Linda as Critical Friend and Executive Coach gave me an outlet, which you don’t have with anyone else. This need will resonate with other Directors if you are honest with yourself.

“Apana’s approach and process gave us structure to recruitment of senior colleagues and helped define our overall People Strategy.”

The HR Manager added: “Linda has worked for us for many years, providing psychometric input to the talent acquisition and development process, as well as acting as life coach (including stress management skills) to directors and senior managers. As well as her professional expertise and integrity, her true value to the business has been her pragmatic approach and her ability to understand both the business and the different personalities working within.

“Linda has helped guide us through some difficult times and has provided personal support to me in my role as HR Manager and I would recommend her to other businesses.”

The Chairman of the Board agreed: “Apana provided professional and productive support through a difficult talent review and succession planning project. Their invaluable contribution to the process has fundamentally re-shaped the way we will approach senior management development and recruitment in the future.”

Linda continued to support the company through two MBO’s over a 10-year period.

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