Chris Nel

Who leads next?

We’ve said it before, and no doubt will say it again, leadership is a journey. It’s a journey that can never start too soon, and it’s one which never ends; no matter how long someone has been in a position of leadership.

Organisations which understand the importance of the journey and which help their people to grow their leadership capabilities at every stage throughout their career therefore win on two fronts. Not only are they developing the leaders of the future, they also see empowered individuals making strong decisions at every level across the organisation. And when you have ‘leaders without a title’ embedded across the organisation then the chances are that the culture remains strong and focused and engagement levels remain high.

It was therefore with interest that we saw the recent report concerning IT company Infosys. Alongside the creation of a new leadership framework, Infosys has restarted its internal leadership Institute with a view to building future leaders from within. Commenting to India’s Economic Times, Infosys co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan made the interesting observation that one of the reasons for the decision was that “A company that depends disproportionately on outside talent is at risk of building a mercenary culture.”

Succession planning isn’t simply good business sense, it is also a fundamental element of board responsibility under the corporate governance code. Who leads next in your organisation? Perhaps it is time to develop the leadership skills of all your people.