Succession planning, talent management vital for enduring legal institutions – Experts
Experts from various sectors of the economy have said that for lawyers to build institutions that will outlive them, there should be conscious efforts to have succession plans and manage talents at their work places.
Speaking during a break out session at the ongoing annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Lagos, Pascal Dozie, Chairman and Founder of Diamond Bank Plc., said that legal practice is primarily knowledge base, therefore human and intellectual capital is critical.
“Succession planning ensures there are no vacuum in the organisation and managing talents helps enhance potentials of personnel to meet the objectives of the organisation,” Dozie said.
He explained that an enduring partnership is built on trust, which can be attained overtime.
Speaking also at the event, Andries Keun, General Manager, Thomas International said that soft skills are more important in the legal institutions but unfortunately most organizations in Nigeria place more importance on hard skills.
Keun explained that soft skills makes a good lawyer, as good lawyers are distinguished from mediocre lawyers by their ability to read the minds of the judges and opponents and manage expectations of the clients.
“We do not build businesses but people who build businesses. The basic principle is that good leaders spend more time with the people that they lead. A leader is responsible for the people that are responsible for the outcome,” he said.
He highlighted some key factors to apply to ensure succession planning and talent management. Some of these include leadership potential, employee engagement and emotional intelligence.
Some other factors he mentioned include conscientiousness, adjustment, curiosity, risk approach and competiveness.
Anthony Idigbe, Senior Advocate of Nigeria also spoke on the importance of succession planning, noting that it guarantees minimum loss to the business and minimal disruptions.
Idigbe also explained that succession planning entails separating personal assets from the business and sometimes assessing exit options and determining the best exit plan.
He listed some alternatives of succession plans to include closing the business, family-member succession, trade sale, management or employee buyout, going public and listing, amongst others.
He added that the nature and type of company will go a long way to determining the type of succession plan to adopt.
Funso Ero-Phillips, founder of Phillips Consulting Limited suggested that employees should be reviewed constantly so as to address certain areas for improvement, adding that analytics and benchmarking can help identify where talents can be tapped.
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