5 tips for training future CEOs.
TECHIIA is an international holding company with Ukrainian roots. It consists of more than 10 business projects and more than 1,000 employees. The business portfolio is diverse - IT products and services, e-sports, merchandising, and drones.
Every year the holding enriches its portfolio with several new projects that require competent managers. In order to always have such managers, the holding's HR team has created TECHIIA Success, a training program for employees skillful to lead future start-ups.
Potential participants were sought within all projects of the holding. CEOs of companies proposed candidates based on two criteria:
1) performance according to the system of performance evaluation and evaluation by the Head;
2) loyalty, which is based on the period of work in the company, interest in their work, and the trust of management.
The third rule was applied to the 50 "semi-finalists": their experience has to have a project implemented with different teams and competencies of the holding. The final group included eight people.
"At the time of the holding's program, universal managers were needed, i.e. high-level project managers," says Tetyana Voloshyna, HR Business Partner of TECHIIA holding. "We decided to give them enough knowledge for the basic management of the company."
The training contained two independent parts.
1) Internal processes, tools, and practical cases from TECHIIA top managers. At 12 weekly meetings, participants learned the nuances of running a business project and interaction between the holding companies: HR, marketing, taxation and relations with regulators, legal framework, brand building, communications. A C-level mentor and a board member were assigned to each participant.
2) Key skills of the leader. Participants received four external pieces of training from the best coaches on the market: project management, leadership, effective communication, organizational design.
The training program lasted six months and took 67 hours of net time plus independent work. Seven people fully completed the program. Within a few months, four of them have received senior management positions or promotions, while others are restructuring their positions.
TECHIIA Success helped to:
- pay attention to people who could potentially lead the directions or goals of the company
- increase participants’ loyalty to the company and loyalty of other employees who saw more prospects
- to systematize the knowledge base for the following programs
- evaluate and develop mentoring experience in the holding's top companies
The pilot training prepared "universal soldiers". And in the next iteration, we will build a team of managers for a specific business, - explains Tetyana Voloshyna. - In addition to basic knowledge, participants will receive on-point industry training. At the end of the day, the employee will develop and pitch the real business plan, which will be the foundation of the future business. "
Some tips from TECHIIA Success 1.0
- Write down a clear profile of the future CEO and the start date in the new position.
- Prepare a "personnel reserve for a personnel reserve". Managers can recommend many people, but not all can be replaced.
- After the selection, find out if the candidate wants to grow to the CEO position or is more interested in developing deeper into the profession - and give the freedom to leave the training without risking his/her reputation.
- Compose a program based on the experience and skills of the participants. If necessary, divide them into subgroups.
- Establish interaction between participants and mentors so that the first ones had no problem contacting and interacting with the second ones.
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