Lessons learned, may be an overused phrase. There are many sites; lessons learned for First Responders, for Start-ups, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Life lessons. In a recent issue of the New Republic, a new book was reviewed. “Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn little in the Brave New Economy”, the author disappoints immediately by thrashing the Disney Internship Program and continued with a series of unsupported views devoid of facts.
That said Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase. He’s been in Fortune Magazine, slammed around Washington by Senate hearings and the commencement speaker at both Syracuse University and Harvard Business School.
Dimon, known as the toughest guy on Wall Street, meets every summer with the crop of interns. Dimon gives them a “summer reading list” Dimon’s list includes:
Interns and succession planning can be linked to a company’s survival. Often this process is misunderstood.
Filling the leadership pipeline may be a fundamental first step in any organizations succession plan. We would be wise to recognize that neither Luke Skywalker nor Obi-Wan Kenobi is available for hire. Most days we will not find an incredibly talented save the galaxy hero or have the wisest of mentors for all things on staff. Interns take time, patience, grooming and a Team Effort.
Ram Charan describes succession planning in the following frame work. “Succession planning is perpetuating the enterprise by filling the pipeline with high-performing people to ensure that every leadership level has an abundance of these performers to draw from, both now and in the future.”
He details a six or a four step model for growing in the leadership pipeline. A family business should consider the four step model.
Manage Self > Manage Others > Functional Manager > Business Manager
Another point to ponder is how far down should succession planning go? Some success stories would suggest, all the way down to entry level. Succession is not a leadership project. Succession is about the upward flow of talent. Every level of an organization is dependent on the layer below, for its next leaders.
The great game of business is all about process. Process or processing typically describes the act of taking something through an established and usually routine set of procedures or steps to convert it from one form to another. A process involves steps and decisions in the way work is accomplished.
The process that one follows is as important as the results that are produced by the process. Without understanding the underlying process, it is difficult to know how a certain set of results were achieved, or why they were good or bad. So, if results are viewed as the “destination”, then process can be viewed as the “vehicle” that gets you there (and ideally, you should be able to use the same “vehicle” for many trips…with a few modifications based on the desired destination!)
Filling the leadership pipeline is a process, not an event. Let’s make sure our lessons learned are converted into a process. One that fills the succession/leadership pipeline.
Let’s run to win.