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Organizations need their next generation of leaders to assume greater leadership scope, responsibility, and complexity at a rate faster than their predecessors. Much will be asked of these future leaders. The concern is, of course, are they ready? What do proven experiences look like that truly prepare high potentials to meet and exceed expectations? Read how two leading organizations—Mortenson and Dacotah Bank—are tackling this important work and walk away with eight best practices that will increase the ultimate impact and sustainability of your high-potential program.
A major Midwest-based hospitality company took stock of its leadership talent and identified a need to build its talent pipeline for sustainable business success. The company had no shortage of hard-working and passionate leaders who cared deeply about doing the right things to help the organization deliver a great customer experience. However, the company wasn’t sure if these individuals also had the capacity to lead others and demonstrate higher-level skills. In partnership with MDA Leadership, the company created its first high-potential talent assessment strategy to determine the preparedness of select employees for future leadership roles. Equipped with MDA’s assessment analyses and reports, the company’s senior leaders, including the CEO, now believe they have a richer and more valid basis for understanding and gauging the potential and preparedness of their top talent. As a result, the company continues to enjoy robust sales growth.
Case Study - Hospitality (391 KB)
Innovative new products and a highly lucrative parts, accessories and garments division had propelled a Minnesota-based recreational sports company to record-setting growth. To meet increasing global demand, the company hired several new leaders with experience and insight into international business, marketing, retail merchandising and distribution. Armed with a talent-centric mindset, company leaders partnered with MDA Leadership to craft a strategy to select and keep the best employees, whether they were starting on the manufacturing floor or entering the managerial ranks. With MDA Leadership as the company’s go-to provider of assessment services and products, the company now has keen insights about external hiring decisions and attributes a large part of its year-over-year revenue and profit growth to the quality of its employees.
Case Study - Recreational (305 KB)
With a family-owned business—or any business—succession cannot be taken for granted. While more than one-third of all Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled, just three percent of family-owned businesses make it to the fourth generation and beyond. A major family-owned Minnesota manufacturer wanted to ensure it lasts long past its current fourth-generation leadership. With strong board support, this manufacturer engaged MDA Leadership to deliver executive coaching to the company’s high-potential employees, in order to be prepared for more senior leadership roles as opportunities arise. After working diligently to understand this manufacturer’s business, needs and culture, MDA Leadership designed an in-depth two-year executive coaching program. Today, the program has exceeded the company’s expectations, with participants consistently reporting a clearer understanding of the practices and behaviors required for the company’s senior leadership, as well as heightened awareness of their own strengths and growth areas.
Because of their broad-based experience and ability to present high-quality talent, executive search firms are an indispensable resource for boards looking to identify new talent. Yet, recruitment interviews and reference checks are only one piece of finding the best fit for senior roles—assessment also plays a key part. When comparing CEO candidates, experienced boards recognize that having a second, objective voice at the table adds power to their critical decision-making. Recognizing this reality, the board of a major non-profit organization sought to supplement the CEO finalist recommendations of its executive search firm with assessment input from MDA Leadership, assuring the process would be rigorous, methodical and fair to all. Following MDA Leadership’s input, the board completed its selection process and chose a new CEO who had been an internal candidate. More than three years later, this CEO is still successfully leading the organization, beating the odds for the tenure of newly selected CEOs, which is around 18 months.
Case Study - Non Profit (185 KB)
With CEO succession, it can pay to promote from within. Internally hired CEOs are 45 percent less likely to be dismissed, and on average stay at their jobs one year longer than external hires. Fortunately, the board of a major industrial company knew its CEO intended to step down within a three-year timeframe, giving the board time to help four internal candidates become better-prepared as potential CEO successors. But the board faced the challenge of how to fairly and objectively assess these internal candidates in a consistent and transparent way that would help the company retain these executives. Based on MDA Leadership’s process, which complemented the board’s own talent review and leadership succession efforts, the board named a CEO successor from the ranks of the four internal candidates. More than five years later, this CEO still leads the company, and since the beginning of this new CEO’s tenure, the company has significantly exceeded its growth goals and the company's stock value has more than tripled.