Where do organizations fall short in their approach to career development?

3k views9 Comments

VP - Head of Information Technology in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Leaders have a certain amount of responsibility to foster career development without their people having to ask. I feel like it's a discount that the business wants to take advantage of without taking responsibility for what they should do. They got someone at a discounted price who was brought in at a lower level, but then they're not advocating for that person. That might save 0.00000000001% of revenue, but it didn't do anything to benefit the employee.

Leaders have to realize that it’s their responsibility to set the company up for success with the next generation of leaders. That means that you have to constantly develop the layer underneath you and look for how the company is going to scale. It's a responsibility that is an existential component of the company. You can’t just say, "Well, look at the deal we're getting by having this person work for peanuts."
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Senior Vice President - Engineering, Self-employed

Totally agree! 👍

VP, Chief Security & Compliance Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Companies don't always do a good job of making sure that there's a sponsor for the person being developed as a leader. The role of a manager is to make sure those fundamental competencies are being developed, but there’s also a need for a sponsor to shepherd that person. Especially when you get to those HR review processes, like the nine box grid.
1 Reply
VP - Head of Information Technology in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I actually think the nine box grid is a great way to have a conversation about the best investments to make in the company and where those are going to pay off down the road. Salesforce did an outstanding job of using the nine box and the calibration was really good. But it took them years to get there. It's not something that happened overnight.

Director of Tech and Cyber Strategy in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Too much focus on tools instead of outcomes. Career development often turns into HR looking for a new platform to roll out to staff without really thinking about what problem the organization is supposed to solve. If it sticks, a few years later people move on, a new platform is selected, and the cycle repeats itself.

In an ideal world the org would put some thought into what it needs and how to get there; not everyone can or should be a leader and career development should take that into account.

Finally, processes should be put in place to measure the value of these programs by looking at outcomes rather than how many people took a course. Leaders typically need to have an end-to-end understating of the business and lateral moves or temporary assignments are often more effective then taking a course. That doesn’t mean any of courses, mentorship, or temporary assignments are inherently good or bad; rather it’s important to understand what outcomes the organization wants to achieve, what the best way to get there is, and how to measure the efficacy of what is put in place.
VP of IT in Media, 10,001+ employees
Facilitating employees building internal networks
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Not having an approach or roadmap - not providing enough opportunities for training or stretch objectives. Not listening to employees interest in mobility and growth.
Senior Vice President - Engineering, Self-employed
Managers/leaders need to take a personal interest in growing their team. It shouldn’t be limited to HR creating growth mandates; they can just facilitate, but the manager has to ensure his/her team is becoming better with every passing quarter.
Director of The Digital Workplace in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Everyone's pretty much concerned with "just-in-time" talent. It feels much easier to go and find the person who seems like they can do the job today than to look out on who you have right now and groom them over the next few years. 

This takes a lot of transparency from both sides. I like the model featured in The Alliance by Reid Hoffman. Much more common sense.

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