Traci Entel, an experienced talent management leader who has held senior corporate and consulting roles at businesses such as BlackRock and Booz & Company, joined Steve Safier and Laura Guerrieri’s fall 2022 Integrated Talent Management class to discuss, among other things, succession planning and the strategy and process for replacing leadership within organizations. Entel is currently a partner at business consulting and services company Incandescent and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and sociology from Dartmouth College.
Integrated Talent Management Strategies is a core course in the M.S. in Human Capital Management (HCM) program. In it, students investigate and practice demonstrating how talent processes such as performance management, leadership development, total rewards, and talent acquisition can affect an organization’s overall capabilities.
Succession planning, like most other processes that combine qualitative perceptions and quantitative information, can be vulnerable to bias. This bias can be mitigated by a strong data-based process, said Entel. “Good” succession planning also includes defining future needs and capabilities, defining future role needs, and developing a number of potential leaders to fill future roles.
Great succession planning is not only about individuals but about the teams of the future, Entel said. For example, a CEO exit may set off a chain of departures, providing an opportunity to reshape entire teams and processes. Entel also shared a valuable analytical tool that removes bias from the succession planning process by asking specific questions about future roles and potential candidates. The tool addresses not only skills, knowledge, and capabilities but also key formative experiences that are important to leaders in the role.
As Entel said, it is the role of the HCM professional to be as “fair and equitable as possible in a way that delivers the highest impact for the company.”
The Columbia University M.S. in Human Capital Management program prepares graduates to be world-class HCM strategists able to address changing needs in building and motivating talented, engaged workforces in the private, public, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. The program is available part-time, full-time, on-campus, and online.
Fall 2023 application final deadline for the M.S. in Human Capital Management program is June 15. Learn more here.