Global Korn Ferry Succession Study Points to Reasons Why Promotions Fail
Report Offers Ways beyond Current Performance to Identify Leadership Potential
“While it’s true to say that most high potentials are high performers,
it does not follow that performance is the only indicator of potential,”
Survey respondents cited having the right competencies for a role as the No.1 factor for making a promotion decision, but nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say that a lack of well-suited traits and dispositions for a company’s culture was the biggest reason promotions fail.
“The results show us that people are promoted for what they can do, but
fail for who they are. It’s critical to take a whole-person perspective,
particularly drivers and traits, as otherwise you run the risk of
identifying the wrong talent,” said
When considering who has the potential to rise to senior levels within
1) A track record of formative experiences
2) Learning agility
4) Leadership traits
5) The drive to be a leader
6) Aptitude for logic and reasoning
7) Managing derailment risks
“All the seven signposts can be assessed and quantified. They enable us to predict which leaders have the greatest likelihood of rising up the ranks,” said Crandell. “Organizations can therefore be confident that their people investment is paying off.”
The Succession Matters survey showed that only 38 percent of respondents said their companies’ succession programs included mid-level managers.
“Companies need to identify those in their late 20s and early 30s who
have the greatest potential to be future senior leaders, then manage
their development and their careers to ensure they are ready and rounded
when they need to be,” said
While identifying high-potential candidates remains a key focus for organizations, high-performing professionals also need to be identified and developed within their functional areas. Yet, the study showed only 13 percent of respondents say their companies’ succession programs included skilled professionals.
“The high professionals are the ones that are very difficult to replace
because they are your industry experts, so it's hard to replace that
About the study
Visit www.kornferry.com/successionmatters to view the full report, infographics and videos.
Tracy Kurschner, 612-309-3957