Have you wondered what your board of directors might be thinking?

Are you wondering what the board of directors is thinking about as it relates to areas of human capital management?

For the past seven years, I have served on the board of a small property and casualty insurance company. I am the chair of the board’s compensation committee.

Our concerns don’t match all the following points exactly in terms of prioritization, as the results listed are from much larger companies. However, all these issues are of concern and focus.

If you are managing a company with a board of directors or own a company, what would you do to address the top six items on the list?

Someone recently asked me why human resource departments are being rebranded as talent management departments.

The answer is that market conditions and business needs are putting new pressure on outcomes for companies to attract, retain, develop and transition talent to be able to compete.

For the sake of brevity here are some thoughts about leadership development and top talent concerns:

  • Before you can begin to help someone develop his or her leadership skills you need to have a full understanding of their capacity, knowledge, experience and feedback from everyone around the person to ascertain where they are currently at in their career.
  • If you develop a “gap” analysis you can begin to put together a meaningful plan to help them move into leadership roles in the future.
  • Keep in mind that although you might have previously identified some people as high potentials or some already are on an executive path, things might have changed and these might not be the people you want to invest in moving forward.
  • A great way to help promote leadership is by giving people stretch opportunities in which they have no previous experience but you have confidence they can pull it off.
  • Be willing to push responsibility and authority down in the organization as often as possible while holding people accountable.
  • Pick out your best performers in management roles and make them available to high potentials as mentors.
  • Provide opportunities to go to seminars and to network with peers while encouraging them to benchmark themselves against those peers.
  • Hire executive coaches for people who you really want to invest in and find coaches who have real-life executive experience. Make sure you sign off on the coaching assignments so that everyone agrees on desired outcomes that can be measured and will make a difference to the person in the program, the company and the coach.
  • Establish benchmarks and goals for all executives so they know how to get to the next level in the company.
  • Provide feedback on a regular basis not only formally but often to let people know what you are thinking and observing.
  • Be honest, direct and do your best to listen and help when needed but most of all encourage leaders to come up with solutions then weigh in when asked.