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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Representation Matters: Integrate DE&I More Fully into Your Succession Planning

Is DE&I a core consideration for your leadership succession planning and other leadership talent management activities? 

Given the increasing emphasis, priority, and scrutiny associated with having a truly representative and inclusive workforce, it should be.

Organizations across sectors are evolving their models and processes related to who has the potential to lead, focusing on greater equity in development and advancement decisions. That means everything from structured leadership development programs with DE&I-related targets to informal mentorship of people in underrepresented groups within the organization.  

There is a growing need to view succession planning through the lens of DE&I, including the development of practical initiatives to ensure better representation among top management as well as at other organizational levels. Learn how Heidrick Navigator can help you see the potential to integrate DE&I more effectively into leadership decisions and development.

DE&I in Succession Planning 

While wide-ranging organizations today seek to prioritize DE&I, most find it is more easily committed to than implemented. Here are some of the specific, challenging questions businesses and other organizations encounter as they strive to incorporate greater representation into their leader advancement and hiring practices: 

  • How to develop and implement succession plans that consider attrition (expected and unexpected) and address DE&I targets related to current and future leadership decisions
  • How to increase the visibility of DE&I candidates in leadership pipelines, including identifying promising rising leaders and ensuring they have meaningful high-profile growth opportunities
  • How to refine and streamline existing succession plans built on inconsistent, incomplete, and/or siloed data sources—such as sources that include divergent role definitions and performance metrics
  • How to understand, at-a-glance, the current leadership talent in the organization and cross-index that with key DE&I dimensions 

Answering these and related questions requires a comprehensive, systematic approach to delivering effective strategies at the intersection of DE&I and succession planning. 

But most organizations lack a proven system that delivers the information and insights they need in this space. Leaders genuinely may want to prioritize DE&I in assessing ad advancing promising leadership candidates, but simply do not have the tools to achieve the best, most sustainable results. That is where Heidrick Navigator can be a critical asset. 

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Heidrick Navigator: A Systematic, Digital Approach 

Heidrick Navigator provides a dynamic digital solution: a research-based system that will help you make truly data-driven succession and leadership decisions that take DE&I and other key, measurable leadership talent metrics into account.  

Navigator delivers high-value reports, metrics, and insights for leadership-related decision-making based on the full set of leader talent data available across your business. All outputs can be customized to include DE&I information that is of high priority in your organization. Among these deliverables are: 

Leadership overview report

This provides a snapshot of your current leadership talent across key dimensions to understand how it aligns with current and future needs, including DE&I metrics. 

Successors report

Heidrick Navigator presents lists and assessments of rising leaders in three categories—Ready Now, Ready Soon, Ready Later—to prepare strategically for natural and unexpected attrition with representativeness top of mind.

Assessment results

You can instantly access results of ongoing leadership assessments on leadership talent dimensions such as business impact, leadership capabilities, leadership potential, and culture impact, in line with the Heidrick Leadership Framework, which can be cross-indexed with DE&I information. 

Pipeline visibility

Heidrick Navigator enables you to see who’s in the leadership talent pipeline (such as the Ready Now and Ready Soon leaders from the Successors Report) and how representative these groups are as compared to organizational goals or targets, with measures such as “% of Pipelines aligned with DE&I targets.” 

Unconventional matches

Sometimes, the best fit for a leadership role is a less traditional one. That can especially be the case when seeking first-time leaders from groups with less representation at the top. Heidrick Navigator unlocks these high-value potential matches more easily than intuition or traditional systems 

Heidrick Navigator’s outputs and insights will help you integrate DE&I more fully into succession and other leadership-related activities, including: 

  • Understanding and assessing your current leadership talent pool on the dimensions of DE&I that matter most to your organization 
  • Creating comprehensive succession plans for organizational leadership roles using measured capabilities, potential, and formerly siloed data to true consistency and comparability related to leader impact and potential  
  • Identifying a wider, more representative set of potential successors to drive faster, more efficient, and more equitable succession and development decisions 
  • Tracking DE&I metrics against succession and advancement goals in real-time to know whether, when, and what leadership talent-related initiatives to pursue 

Representation matters—more than ever. Understanding DE&I within your organization and integrating it into succession and other advancement decisions are critical and should lead to better performance, culture, and morale. 

Heidrick Navigator provides the visibility and insights you need to embed DE&I goals and measures more fully into all your leadership talent development activities for the good of your business and your people. 

Learn more about Heidrick Navigator
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