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“Succession Strategies” Another LEC Success!


by Stephany Schings Below, SIOP Communications Manager

10th Annual Leading Edge Consortium Boasts 218 Attendees from 9 Countries

The 2014 Leading Edge Consortium (LEC), “Succession Strategies: Building Your Leadership Bench,” brought out some of the best and brightest in the field of succession planning October 17 and 18 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare. The impressive speakers presented to a packed house of 219 registrants from nine countries—as far as Germany, Ireland, and Singapore!

  View more photos of the 2014 LEC on SIOP’s Facebook page!  



Chaired by Elaine Pulakos, with an Organizing Committee made up of Eric Braverman, Alexis Fink, Alberto Galue, Arlene Green, William Shepherd, and Paul Yost, the 2014 LEC was a weekend full of excellent speakers, informative presentations, and numerous opportunities to participate in discussion on building a leadership pipeline for the future.

The beautiful Loews hotel provided an interesting backdrop for the weekend’s events. The unique hotel showcased numerous paintings, sculptures and other fine art in a museum setting.


Attendees heard from 20 speakers on topics that explored several main themes: developing a succession strategy, designing the process, talent identification, developing leaders, and evaluating succession management. To read more, visit the LEC agenda page here.

The LEC kicked off with an opening keynote address titled “Science. Simplicity. Potential. Us.” by Marc Effron. Effron, president of The Talent Strategy Group and author of One Page Talent Management, explained how leaders hold the power to create tremendously successful organizations overflowing with high quality talent. However, he explained, if CEOs and boards are to be believed, these efforts are falling short of that mark. What’s our accountability to fill organizations with great talent and the surest path to get there?

During his address, Effron advised attendees to know their business and how it profits but also to love their business. Overall, he stressed his One Page Talent Management strategy. 

"Simplicity is key to implementation,” he added.

After more presentations Friday, attendees also participated in interactive Ask the Expert sessions. These unique sessions allowed attendees to choose from among seven topics by 16 presenters. The sessions took place over three rounds and explored key decisions and the consequences of the decisions that need to be addressed when designing and implementing a high-impact succession planning program.

At the end of Friday, before boarding busses for a night out during the Chicago Dine-Around, attendees also enjoyed a lively reception at the hotel. There, speakers and attendees mingled and continued conversations from the day’s events. During the dine-around, attendees had the chance to sample cuisine from three Chicago restaurants.
Saturday kicked off with several presentations built around the theme of developing leaders.  Panelists shared practical ideas that participants could use to enhance their succession planning and high potential programs. The Saturday afternoon presentations focused on the theme of evaluating succession management. Attendees heard presentations on titled “Serving Up Metrics That Matter,” “Metrics-Driven Decision Making in Succession and Development,” and “Measurement Strategies for Succession Management.”

During lunch Saturday, attendees were also invited to watch a very special award presentation. SIOP Foundation Board member Nancy Tippins announced the 2014 HRM Impact Award winners: Cargill, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Sears Holdings. Read more about each winning organizations’ initiative on the HRM Impact winners’ page here.

The LEC wound down with a fascinating closing keynote address by SIOP Fellow Morgan McCall. McCall presented “Ready Now, Ready Later, Never Ready:  Why Succession Planning Falls Short on Development (and What Might be Done About It).” During his presentation he discussed how experience drives leadership development, and succession planning is one process that influences who gets what experience, but great bosses tell us that HR programs and processes frequently get in the way of development. 

What’s going on here and what can be done to make succession planning more developmental? McCall asked.  "Don't promote people who don't develop talent," he added.

Following the closing keynote, attendees and various speakers participated in a summary session exploring perspectives on the consortium and what’s most important for the future. After thanking the LEC chair and co-chairs and presenting them with tokens of appreciation, SIOP Executive Director Dave Nershi announced the information for next year’s event.



The 2015 Leading Edge Consortium will be held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront hotel next October. The theme of that event will be performance management and how to build high-performance organizations.

We hope to see you next year in Boston!