An Ounce of Prevention
Some organizations within healthcare have wisely begun trying to prevent the succession crisis before it starts.
Lancaster General Health, a regional, not-for-profit healthcare system in Lancaster, PA decided in 2009 that healthcare leadership is too important to leave to chance. The leadership team proactively began developing its own talent pipeline internally.
LG Health has developed a system of identifying potential leaders, evaluating their skills, taking their own interests and aspirations into account and then developing the candidates to move into leadership positions, rating them as "ready in 3–5 years," "ready in "1–2 years" or "ready now," according to how developed their leadership skills are.
"This is not just a talent review process," said Kay Brady, vice president human resources, talent management and organizational development at LG Health. "All our leaders are assessed," she told me, adding that employees at the director level and above participate in professional development programs which are developed in collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing's ManageMentor division. During yearly reviews with their managers, employees decide which modules of the program make the most sense for them to complete.