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Clearview® Performance Systems brings you ... ... a Culture of Results & Engagement™

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SA7™ Succession Alignment System

The goal of any successful succession alignment process shouldn't be to just end up with a list of prospective candidates. Instead, the overarching goal is to have a pool of qualified and prepared people—across all organizational levels—to fill vacancies in key positions when needed.

To accomplish this requires a succession alignment system that's comprehensive but not complicated; rigorous but not overwhelming; and focused on outcomes not just 'check-the-box' activities.

The SA7™ System is a robust succession alignment process made up of seven (7) precise steps ...

SA7™ Key Positions & Talent Alignment Tracking System

There are a serious number of data points to keep track of when implementing a comprehensive and holistic succession alignment system, including: identified Key Positions and their respective Competency Requirements; individuals who have qualified as Succession/Advancement Candidates; One-Ready-Now status, and progress being made on 70:20:10 Breadth/Depth Learning plans.

To simplify this tracking process, our SM7 Succession Alignment 7-Step System includes a HIPAA-compliant (AES 256-bit encryption) Key Positions & Talent Alignment Tracking System that tracks all information gathered at each step of the succession alignment process (complete with a powerful Dashboard tool).

SA7™ Succession Alignment 7-Step System

The SA7 Succession Alignment System is made up of three (3) phases and seven (7) steps:

  • The Position-Specific Phase (Steps 1/2): Identify current and emerging key positions and determine the specific competencies needed for these positions to efficiently and effectively achieve superior results.
  • The People-Specific Phase (Steps 3/4): Identify strong succession candidates who have future capacity to be effective in significantly more challenging roles. [Note: Some organizations refer to these individuals as HiPo or 'High-Potentials' but within our proprietary Succession Inclusion Algorithm, 'potential' is only ONE of the variables used to identify strong succession candidates so HiPo is not precise enough to be included in our taxonomy.]
  • The Close-the-Gap Phase (Steps 5/6/7): Create a competency gap matrix for all key positions and develop a competency acquisition game plan for each succession candidate to close any competency gaps that exist—and improve organizational bench strength. This phase also 'forces' an alignment between succession practices and performance management, recruitment and selection, and training and development.

Step 1: Identify Key Positions

Many managers operate from gut-level (intuition) as the primary way to assess succession/advancement needs. At best, this is a hit-or-miss strategy. In sharp contrast, within higher-performing organizations, managers are guided through this decision-making process using a key-position/demand-driver model based on strategic objectives and job criticality.

Step 1 in the succession alignment procress will answer the following questions: What key (critical) positions need to be included in a comprehensive succession plan? and What roles are changing and what future roles are emerging that will also need to be considered?

Resources for 'Step 1: Identify Key Positions' include the following templates and worksheets:

  • Key Position Environmental Scan Worksheet
  • Role Criticality Matrix™
  • Key Position Criteria & Disruption Level Classifications
  • Worksheet 1.1 - Key Position/Track Identification Worksheet

Step 2: Determine Competencies

Most managers (correctly) understand that "competency" describes a behavior. However, many managers go astray by not appreciating that there's more—much, much more—to a behavior than simply having the right skills. Consequently, many managers use the two words interchangeably because they (incorrectly) assume competency and skill mean the same thing.

A robust competency analyses must describe not only what people need to KNOW and be able to DO, but also how they must FUNCTION to be successful in a position. Our proprietary Competency Intersection Model™ provides the foundational components integral to—and supportive of—the desired behaviors.

Step 2 in the succession alignment process will answer the following questions: What position-specific/domain-general knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are needed for each of the Key Positions identified in Step 1? and What trait, temperament, and disposition (TTDs) elements need to be considered for each of the Key Positions identified in Step 1?

Resources for 'Step 2: Determine Competencies' include the following templates and worksheets:

  • KSA (Knowledge/Skill/Ability) Identification Worksheet
  • TTD™ (Traits/Temperament/Disposition) Identification Worksheet
  • Competency Intersection Model™
  • Worksheet 6.1 – Competency Gap Analysis

Step 3: Performance Filter

Few things can impact workplace engagement and performance as negatively as a succession process that fails to advance people based on their consistent accomplishments.

An organization looking to build and foster engagement among employees would be prudent to adopt a meritocratic approach for its succession processes. This entails rewarding talent and performance in the workplace—by way of explicit advancement and upward mobility. In essence, making the (very) visible statement that the people who have 'earned the right' are those who go above and beyond, continually strive for improvement, contribute effectual ideas, and achieve consistent and superior results.

Resources for 'Step 3: Performance Filter' include the following worksheets:

  • Worksheet 3.1 – Merit-Based Inclusion Algorithm
  • Worksheet 6.2 – Succession Track Inclusion Summary

Step 4: Potential Filter

Assessing potential—whether for hierarchical advancement or to define pools of talent for primary strategic functions in an organization—requires a significant mind shift from short-term selection to long-term prediction. The prediction process is not about matching employees to specific known positions and/or responsibilities but, instead, predicting how much potential an individual has, in conjunction with a solid Breadth/Depth Learning (BDL) plan, to be a candidate in the future for a broad range of possible positions.

The construct of Talent Potential refers to the likelihood that individuals can successfully advance beyond where they currently are. Our research-validated and evidence-based Potential for Future Growth/Responsibility Indicators offer superior precision when assessing individual potential for future enhancement.

Resources for 'Step 4: Potential Filter' include the following worksheets:

  • Worksheet 4.1 – Potential for Future Growth/Responsibility Indicators
  • Worksheet 4.2 – Future Growth/Responsibility Indicators Group Summary
  • Worksheet 6.2 – Succession Track Inclusion Summary

Step 5: Career Discussion

To ensure sustainable growth, an organization's succession alignment efforts must accurately map the supply of talent against demand, based on its short- and long-term strategic goals and initiatives. The bridge between existing (internal) talent and the 'ready-now' desired state necessary for an organization to remain agile, adaptable, and responsive to changing conditions is the career discussion.

The Learning Journey Career Discussion is a strategic discussion focused on the specific learning tracks that develop and cultivate the 'breadth and depth' KSAs and attributes that help position employees for the future ... while benefiting the organization long-term.

Resources for 'Step 5: Career Discussion' include the following templates:

  • Sample 'Invitation' to a Learning Journey Career Discussion
  • Sample Script for a meaningful Career Discussion
  • Questions to isolate Interest/Motivation/Commitment
  • Review of Strengths and Areas for Development
  • 70:20:10 Learning Journey Roadmap

Step 6: Competency Gap Analysis

A succession model that's narrowly focused on specific individuals to fill specific job roles doesn't provide insights into the competency gaps that might be present holistically across an organization. In contrast, a robust succession model identifies competency gaps across the organization by comparing current and future competency requirements for all Key Positions against the competencies that currently exist within its workforce.

Step 1 of the SM7 Succession Alignment system identified current and emerging Key Positions. Step 2 isolated the competencies required for each of the Key Positions identified. In Step 6, succession candidates are assessed against the critical competency requirements identified to expose any individual gaps that might exist. The resulting gaps inform all Breadth/Depth Learning (BDL)™ (see Step 7).

Resources for 'Step 6: Competency Gap Analysis' include the following worksheets:

  • Worksheet 6.1 – Competency Gap Analysis
  • Worksheet 6.2 – Succession Track Inclusion Summary

Step 7: 70:20:10 Breadth/Depth Learning (BDL)

A competency model is a framework for organizing individual competencies that—collectively—describe not only what people need to KNOW and be able to DO, but also how they must FUNCTION to get things done within an organization, industry, and, when relevant, the social, political, and/or economic environment the organization operates in. Developing people—within this framework—requires a comprehensive (and, in some cases, an accelerated) learning solution.

While 70:20:10 learning models have been around for years, our SA7 Breadth/Depth Learning (BDL)™ and Competency Acquisition Drill-Down templates augment this proven technology to provide increased learning precision/retention, and ensure competency gaps are addressed quickly and accurately.

Resources for 'Step 7: 70:20:10 Breadth/Depth Learning (BDL)' include the following worksheets:

  • SA7 Succession Alignment Flowchart
  • 70:20:10 Employee Development Worksheet
  • Competency Acquisition Drill-Down Worksheet
  • LEARNlinks® Worksheet
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