Editor's Note | エディターズノート

Editor's Note

Atley Jonas | ヨナシュ・アトリ

Succession planning is so critical, but too often, so overlooked. | 後継者育成はとても重要でありながら、しばしば見落とされてしまっているのが現実である。

Originally written in English

     One of the greatest challenges I faced in this issue in my role as editor-in-chief was sourcing good-quality articles that addressed the theme of succession planning. I reached out to a number of different potential contributors, but each time I was met with the same response: I’m sorry – but that’s not really my area of expertise. So I thought about that, and realized that this was a very telling comment, and the very reason why we decided to feature this theme, actually.

     The stark contrast between this topic and the one from the April-June issue on coaching and mentoring is probably best illustrated in the large number of coaches and coaching organizations that exist to advance the trade and to assist companies and their staff in optimizing their business. Yet, when it comes to succession planning… Not so much. Regardless of which country you live and work in, companies have long struggled with, and continue to struggle with, effective succession planning.

     Undeterred by this dearth of resources out there, we still managed to get our hands on some wonderful articles that might help change how your organization looks at succession planning, and perhaps you too may be inspired to give it some thought and revolutionize your HR department.

     We were particularly glad to bring in Bryan Krinzman, a human capital strategies pro at U.S.-based Helios HR, to explain the difference between succession planning and replacement planning, and to provide some very practical, actionable advice for implementing the right plan.

     Then, as a companion piece to this, The HR Agenda brought their A-game to center field with an exposé of some of the world’s most proficient succession planners: professional sports teams. No other multi-billion dollar industry has as high a staff turnover as the world of team sports. Players, managers, coaches and executives routinely move between teams, and from position to position in seasonal chess matches, all in an attempt to assemble an optimal team that will win the championship. Nowhere else is the execution of quality succession plans as critical as it is here. We have examined case studies from a broad cross-section of sports, including American football, NBA basketball and international rugby to glean some of the top tips for helping ensure a winning team well into a company’s future.

     The overarching theme is relatively simple though, and should come as no surprise to anyone. The term is “bench strength” and John Mariotti, CEO and president of The Enterprise Group, emphasizes its importance in business as much as in sports. It’s important that the quality of the players on the bench is comparable to the ones on the field of play. Otherwise, even something as common and simple as a sprained ankle could have the potential to derail not just the game, but an entire season.

     Likening it to the business world, he asks the question: “When a key person defects to a competitor, falls ill, or worse yet, dies suddenly, the entire company could be in distress or at risk. Certainly someone should have considered this possibility and done some advance planning on building up some ‘bench strength.’ But has anyone?” Clearly, this is a very good question for any HR department to consider, alongside the one asked by ex-McDonald’s CEO, Jim Skinner. But for that you’ll need to read the article.

     Also in this issue, we have chosen to include an interesting angle on what could be seen as a form of succession planning. For the most part, when we talk about this theme, we are dealing with individuals within a company, and those who will replace them when they are gone. But when it comes to global companies moving talent as part of various exchange programs and reciprocity deals, a succession plan must involve not only the people themselves, but also the future of the exchange program. While expatriate staff assignments have become commonplace, when staff are forced to return to their home countries before their terms are up companies lose money. Not only is HR left scrambling to fill in key roles that have suddenly been left empty, the value of having such programs may be brought into question.

     Ron Pilenzo, author, university lecturer and president emeritus of SHRM, shares his insight on how cultural factors affect early expat return rates, and why Japanese firms are among the most successful in the world when it comes to completing overseas assignments.By understanding some of the psychology behind successful expat placements companies can take steps to mitigate early returns before they happen, and also get a better handle on how to make their succession plan cover these contingencies.

     Finally, just to whet your appetite for some great HR stories yet to come, here is a sneak preview of what you'll see in our next issue. Some of the HR Agenda editorial staff traveled to Las Vegas to attend the annual SHRM conference. Just like last year, you can catch some of the action with video updates that were shot live on location, through the JHRS Youtube channel. But most importantly, the November 2015 - February 2016 issue will feature some of the highlights from this massive event. Until then though, we hope you enjoy this anniversary issue of The HR Agenda!

     On behalf of everyone at The HR Agenda, have a wonderful summer, and see you in fall!


     「The HR Agenda」編集長である私が今号で直面した最大の問題は、「後継者育成」というテーマに沿った、優れた記事をどう外部に依頼するかということだった。依頼できそうな何人かの寄稿者にコンタクトしたが、そのつど、「申し訳ないですが、それは私の専門分野ではないので・・・」という同じ答えが返ってきた。そこで私はそのことについて考えてみた結果、これぞまさに手応えのあるコメントだということを実感した。今号の特集テーマとして私たちがこれを選んだ理由も、ここにあるといってよい。

     このテーマと、「The HR Agenda」4-6月号で取り扱った「コーチングとメンタリング」というテーマとの際立った対比は、取引を推進し、また事業の最大化のために企業とそのスタッフの支援に当たる、コーチとコーチ組織の数の多さに最もはっきり表れているといってよいだろう。ところが、「後継者育成」ということになるとそれほど多くない。あなたがどの国で生活し働いているとしても、効果的な後継者育成にはどの企業も長く苦労してきたし、現在も苦労している。



     次に「The HR Agenda」は、クリンズマンの記事を補完するためのピースとして、世界で最も熟達した後継者育成の名人に焦点を当てることができた。つまり、プロスポーツのチームである。今日、チームスポーツの世界以上に、何十億ドルものおカネが動き、しかもスタッフ離職率が高い世界はない。選手、マネジャー、コーチ、そして幹部スタッフたちも、まるで季節ごとのチェスの試合のようにチームとチームの間を、また1つのポストから別のポストに日常的に移動する。これはすべてチャンピオンを目指して最善のチームを集めたいという念願によるものにほかならない。チームスポーツの世界以上に、質の高い後継者育成の実行が最重要な世界は他にないといってよいだろう。スポーツにおける広範な断面から得た、いくつかの事例研究例えばアメリカンフットボール、NBAバスケットボール、また国際的なラグビーチームを検証することで、勝つことができるスポーツチームを企業の将来に応用するためのとっておきのヒントを探り出すことができたと思う。





     最後にとっておきの情報を1つ・・・。すごいHRの話に対する関心を刺激するために、夏休みの有効な過ごし方をこっそりとお教えしよう。今夏、ラスベガスで開催されるSHRM年次大会に今年も「The HR Agenda」から何人かの編集スタッフが出席するのだ。昨年と同様、会場からライブビデオアップデートをお送りする予定になっており、「JHRS YouTubeチャンネル」で視ることができる。さらに重要なことは、HRA201511月-2016年2月号で、この巨大イベントのハイライトを紹介することだ。ぜひその号を見逃さないようお願いしたい。そして、その号が出るまでのひととき、この「The HR Agenda」周年号を楽しんでいただければ幸いである。

     「The HR Agenda」に携わるすべてのスタッフを代表して、素晴らしい夏を過ごされることをお祈りするとともに、秋号でまたお会いしましょう



Atley Jonas joined The HR Agenda team as editor in chief, in 2014. He has a Master’s in business administration, and spent 11 years living and working in Japan. He actively writes and edits for a number of U.S. and global business publications, while also pursuing several entrepreneurial ventures.


ヨナシュ・アトリ 2014年に編集長として 「The HR Agenda」に加わった。経営学修士 号(MBA)を持ち、日本に11年間生活した経験 がある。また、いくつかの米国および世界のビ ジネス誌にライター・編集者として参加するか たわら、数々の起業ベンチャーにも携わってい る。


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