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Learnings from an EXCO succession development project

17 August 2021

Learn how JVR Consulting utilised user experience design and essential experiences questionnaires to enhance engagement and identify potential successors.

JVR Consulting Psychologists assisted a multinational mining house with a development process for potential ExCo successors.

The methodology consisted of the usual identification of successors through the talent management pipeline, deploying psychometric assessments and reporting on critical ExCo succession requirements.

Two specific components of this project stood out as key learnings:

  • The importance of the user experience (this has received a lot of press lately and was reinforced in this project as well).

  • The usefulness of an essential experience’s questionnaire that supplemented the behavioural data from psychometrics with functional data.

User experience

In The Experience Disruptors (MIT Sloan Management Review 2020), Brian Halligan talks about offering experiences that surround a product (or process) that customers did not even know they wanted or could ask for and that make interactions frictionless.

Thinking beyond just the product/process and also about the total experience you want to create can improve engagement and increases the likelihood of desired outcomes of the process (i.e. learnings, change, buy-in etc…).

In our ExCo succession development process we created an improved user experience by designing a bespoke interface on our Integrate® talent management platform from which candidates could access their multiple assessments.

Candidates experienced a familiar digital environment with their company colours, pictures, words, and logo. Further, candidates were able to create their ‘own personal profile’ which included uploading a profile picture and the ability to self-track the progress of their assessments. Qualitative candidate feedback suggested increased engagement towards the process as a result of the enhanced digital user experience.

Essential experiences questionnaire

Another key learning came from using an essential experiences questionnaire as part of the process.

The client company had done a thorough analysis of their bench strength against global standards (i.e., their competitors), looking at the breadth, complexity, and depth of successful ExCo members in the industry. This allowed them to create an essential experiences questionnaire with which candidates could self-assess their own experiences against that of a global benchmark.

This approach complimented the psychometric assessments' behavioural perspective with a functional viewpoint from which to consider each ExCo candidate’s overall development.

The final individual reporting output displayed the behavioural assessment as well as the essential experiences data which resulted in a very robust development plan for each candidate. Using this data, we assisted the client company in identifying appropriate readiness for identified ExCo candidates and highlighted potential succession readiness risks. In addition, the client was able to develop robust talent acquisition and development plans for the next couple of years.


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