A horse race is not the only way to determine the next big thing. Succession cultures have adopted various practices to develop and groom future stars. However, the horse race is often seen as the pinnacle of the succession process. In some cases, a company’s culture of overt competition for the top job may prove to be the best move.
A horse race is a good way to define a company’s culture of leadership development and to signal employees that they are expected to hold themselves accountable for company performance. But, if the race is poorly managed, it could tarnish the organizational momentum and leave some executives feeling uncomfortable.
While there are many facets to a successful succession strategy, a horse race is a logical conclusion of a well-thought out plan. Unlike a traditional board of directors’ meeting, a horse race is a public event. This reduces the possibility of the board having to deal with potential conflicts of interest and allows candidates to know what to expect.
A company’s strategy could be influenced by the ability to collaborate with internal and external partners. An overt competition for the top job demonstrates the board’s commitment to developing high-performance leaders. By aligning the skills and interests of a potential successor with a vision of the company’s future, the company can ensure that the new CEO is equipped to succeed in the role.
The horse racing industry has enjoyed a renaissance over the past few years, thanks in part to the advent of the Information Age. Technology has changed the game, and has made it easier to measure and track a variety of factors. Among them, energy use.
The best horse race is a scientific exercise. A model was developed to analyze and quantify energy consumption in various types of races. Researchers were able to identify a horse’s performance in relation to certain variables, such as gender, age and weight. These findings were used to develop a more comprehensive model.
One of the most interesting aspects of this study was that a model was able to identify a horse’s ideal race distance. To achieve this feat, researchers used GPS trackers, which gave them real-time speed and position data.
This model was then used to create custom racing strategies for individual horses. It also allowed trainers to plug in parameters for each of their individual horses, and it even provided an app for easy tracking.
Using a horse race as a launching point for a succession plan is not for the faint of heart. But, if it’s done right, it’s an effective way to find the best possible leader for your organization.
In a classic succession “horse race”, two or three senior executives are pitted against one another. Choosing a winner can be an emotionally charged proposition for the organization. Some directors are wary of the process, fearing that a prolonged succession battle will damage the business momentum.
The most important lesson to take from the horse racing industry is that it’s not just about the winning horse. Ultimately, a successful company is a company that develops and grooms its next generation of leaders. Developing a succession culture is an important step toward this goal.