Building leaders of tomorrow – an MBA perspective.

A large portion of the Baby Boomer generation is retiring and companies are working on ways to fill positions at all levels. Our NIU MBA class wanted to further understand how companies are planning to fill those gaps, specifically at the leadership level.

We reached out to Larry Brand, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Elkay, a global manufacturing company. Brand explained, like many companies, Elkay is addressing the number of leaders retiring through accelerated talent development and succession planning.

“Elkay identifies potential leaders by concentrating on a review process to measure potential leaders with a 9-box system.” shared Brand. This system identifies high potential/high performance future leaders. Once individuals are identified, and the individual confirms an interest in a leadership role, they are placed into a Leadership Development Program.”  Many companies have developed similar programs to help provide a pathway and curriculum to ensure a consistent flow of employment.

Currently, Elkay is running two programs that address different levels within the organization. One is the Hi-PO program which is designed for high potential director level employees who have been identified as future executives.  The second is the Emergent Leaders Program designed for manager level employees who have great potential.  These two programs help to build and develop the talent pool that will take Elkay into the future.

Businesses, industries, and jobs are changing rapidly and no one can predict the competencies needed to succeed even a few years out. But understanding the processes being used to promote individuals within a company can help in building a career strategy.   “Every generation gets outdated by the next one” said Brand. “That’s why it’s imperative to continuously identify and develop employees at every level of the organization.”

Written by MBA students Matt Aldrich, Lips Khaemba, Nikolay Kolev, Cosmina, Nedelcu, Andrew Stepper, Michelle Todd

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