A new approach to accelerate the growth of high potential Key Talents

What happens when a position of medium responsibility is freed in a company: the company often decides to cover it with an external candidate, because internal candidates of high potential are not considered ready for this jump in the managerial world. Technically they would also be close to the target, but they lack part of the managerial and relational skills.

The external candidate is usually just a few years older of the potential internal candidates: perhaps this external candidate takes some time to adapt to the corporate culture and tangible results take longer than expected.
The new appointment can become an element of frustration for those who felt ready for that position: now they see an obstacle in their professional growth and they begin to explore alternatives outside the company, and sometimes leave the company.

Is it worth taking this risk? How can internal candidates with high potential be made able to take on the new role? A new approach involves a Temporary Manager joining them.

I speak from direct experience because I have been Temporary Manager many times, here are some examples:
– responsible for the Quality Assurance function within an innovation project
– responsible for building a research and development team and its management
– responsible for the Research and Development function within an innovation project.

In all these cases, the results were in line with the two main expectations of the client companies: ensuring the performance required of the managerial role and growing the internal candidate of high potential in the role.

For this to happen, some success factors must be fulfilled.

Let’s start from the characteristics of the Temporary Manager:
– He must have held that role or roles with higher responsibility for many years, so he must have the technical knowledge and the relational skills necessary to manage the role
– Must have coach and mentor skills
– He must work to make his presence less and less necessary over time, he must work to avoid creating dependence on the person whose growth he is supporting.

The company must completely integrate the Temporary Manager into the organizational structure and the relevant chain of command, as if it were in effect part of the company.

Finally, both must agree a temporary consultancy contract with objectives both linked to the role held and related to the growth of the young manager assisted by the Temporary Manager.

As for the economic evaluation of the approach, the company must take into account several elements:
– The daily cost of the Temporary Manager is generally higher than the cost of the position held, because it is linked to the person’s seniority
– This is counterbalanced by the temporary nature of the contract and by the fact that the company does not bear part of the full time employees costs, since the Temporary Manager is not an employee
– The growth of the internal candidate is accelerated, thanks to the extremely motivating situation that is created
– the company acquires a know-how that goes far beyond what would have brought by a full-time external candidate, thanks to the seniority of the Temporary manager

The Temporary Manager is therefore another resource available to companies to accelerate the growth of their young people with high potential.