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Leadership Lessons
Succession planning
Staff Reporter
update on Saturday, December 11, 2010
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Janet Bibi Ferreira
Director for human resources and administration, Baker Tilly Hong Kong

The plan  

Baker Tilly is managed by equity directors who are also qualified accountants. Traditionally, the most senior, judged by years of service, holds the position of managing director, and the firm's official retirement age is 65. The equity directors periodically review performance and identify individuals with the potential to join the management team. This serves as a way of planning leadership succession and as a strategy for retaining top talent.  

Target

A usual progression sees managers and senior managers becoming first salaried directors and then, after two to three years, equity directors. Along the way, assessments take account of personal appraisals, client satisfaction surveys, feedback from peer groups and efficiency reports. Information from these diverse sources helps to identify future leaders.  

Training  

The firm offers in-house and external training courses conducted by subject experts. Top employees can participate in our annual international leadership development programme which sees experienced lecturers from the Chicago Booth School of Business providing instruction for staff from firms within our worldwide network.

The main objectives are to develop leadership skills, awareness in working with different cultures, and knowledge of business strategies and leveraging a brand. It is also an opportunity to build a network of international contacts. These programmes equip future leaders, while supporting healthy growth and stability within the organisation.


Gillian Pang
Director of human resources, TNT Express Worldwide (HK)

The plan

TNT realises that, in the logistics and delivery businesses, it is essential to have the right people in place at every level and that leadership planning is a critical factor for success. The company summarises this as its "People-Service-Growth-Profit" philosophy, and believes that everything starts with having the right calibre of employees, without whom it would be difficult to provide high service standards.  

Target

A global competency framework sets out key requirements for each level of leadership.

These include a focus on values, making sure people in leadership roles possess and demonstrate TNT's value system and expected modes of behaviour.

The company strongly encourages continuous improvement and a mindset that takes "ownership" of various tasks.

For senior executives, there are assessment and development centres and, within each business unit, local tools such as value-based and personality profiling. A structured process for succession planning collects information from local business units for inclusion in a global database.  

Training

High-potential middle managers take a two-week residential training programme, which this year was held in Shanghai. The course uses a variety of case studies and assessment tools to develop leadership abilities and all-round competencies. Managers expected to take on senior roles usually attend a modular postgraduate programme run in partnership with Warwick Business School. 

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