Risk Management: Critical roles and people

In every organisation there are critical roles and individuals with specific expertise or attributes that make them fundamental to its success. In normal times there is an acceptance of churn, even with Talent programmes etc designed to mitigate the risk of departure, but that risk is managed by succession plans and knowing there is always available talent on the market.

With the impact of COVID-19 biting hard, that risk gets more challenging:

  • Many people will be ill at any one time
  • People will be reluctant to move to another organisation given the context
  • Obvious successors will be utilised and ‘battle fatigue’ will set in (your best troops are always sent to the front line)

So, what’s the solution?

Well, clearly utilising the availability and expertise of the interim is an effective and efficient solution to cover any risk, providing flexibility and coverage until the organisation is ready to move to the next stage. With the decision on IR35 last week then the interim solution becomes much easier to execute.

Alongside that, another solution is to fast track talents in the organisation who have the potential, learning agility and the cultural fit to take on those challenges. By utilising assessments, it is easy to build a profile of what is needed, what specific strengths and development needs individuals have and to begin tailoring a transition plan for each one to set them up for success. Using a combination of coaching and mentoring support, with specific skills-building focus to grow their capability will ensure they quickly have the foundation needed to deliver on those challenges.

These actions, which are quick and cost-effective to deliver, will ensure that not only has the immediate business risk been covered, but that the internal Talent pool has been enriched, and retention of those talents is more likely, as well as sending a strong, positive message to future employees.

There are many examples of where, given the opportunity, people have delivered way beyond what was expected of them. Events such as COVID-19 create that opportunity for talent to step up and help keep organisations functioning and moving forward.

Who knows, you may just discover the next CEO …


About The Norman Broadbent Group:  We are a leading London-listed Professional Services firm offering a diversified portfolio of integrated Leadership Acquisition & Advisory Services. These include Board & Leadership Executive Search, Senior Interim Management, Research & Insight, Leadership Consulting & Assessment, and executive-level Talent Solutions. 

We hope the above is of value. If you’d like to hear more about The Norman Broadbent Group please feel free to email me, Tim Drake, on tim.drake@normanbroadbent.com  for an initial confidential discussion.