More and more companies are transitioning their culture to a more people centric environment. They are focusing on employee development, retention, creative atmospheres. Amongst this culture shift comes cross-training employees, not only business need, but keeping employees engaged. Leadership development is also amongst this shift.
Where is the best place to find new leaders? Do we promote from within the department, a person who knows the culture, the field, and business? Or, do we look outside the company? These are common questions hiring managers and executives muddle with frequently.
Strength-based learning has been the leading trend until recently. It was common to promote a person or hire a person whose strengths fit the need of the person. By utilizing the strength-based concept, Gallup states that employees are more engaged. Times are changing! According to an article by Rebecca Zucker, “Why the Best Internal Candidate Might be From an Unlikely Part of the Company”, Microsoft and Apple are now hiring executives and leaders from completely different backgrounds. For example, these two companies hired new ‘heads of people’ from their sales departments.
Why would a business want to do that?! This was my thought when I came across this article. Come to find out, they have increased engagement by doing this. How? It’s well known that if a person is thrown into the fire (a position unfamiliar to them) they will work harder to learn. This provided their leaders an opportunity to build on their weaknesses and become stronger leaders. By bringing in a leader from a different area it also created fresh ideas.
Zucker cites a Spencer Stuart report stating, “changing functional roles can also bring new insights into the business and can result in better and quicker decision making, as well as in breaking down silos.”
When looking at the retention of high preforming leaders, the cost to replace them, it just makes sense to move them into a new position where they are forced to build on their weaknesses and keep them in a learning mode.
Shelly Wallace Johnson, aPHR