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Succession Planning for Organizations


As more and more professionals in city management approach retirement, many cities face a shortage of qualified candidates and are ill prepared for the increasingly urgent task of succession planning. In response to this challenge, Waters & Company now offers a powerful tool, Competency Based Behavioral Profile©, a customized, valid competency model and personality assessment survey*. It reaches well beyond the scope of interviews to provide insightful, statistically reliable information for municipal governments in the selection, development, and promotion of city managers and other senior management positions.

Our Competency Based Behavioral Profile© measures candidates for the core leadership competencies needed to be successful in city management roles.  It supports the full employment lifecycle, equipping municipal governments with the critical tools they need to support a thriving workforce. It takes the guesswork out of the hiring and succession planning process, revealing the key information that resumes and references fail to provide. It also identifies career growth and development opportunities and provides a plan of action for performance management.

Our Process

Creating a Competency Model

The standard process for ranking a custom competency model for your organization entails a six- to seven-hour workshop which includes a break for lunch. 

If the model is being ranked for a position, we recommend that superiors, peers, and subordinates to the person in this post be included in the workshop, with the ideal number between 5-7 total participants. If the competency model is going to be developed for a group of people, such as all department directors for an organization, we suggest that each director be included in the workshop to establish the ranking of competencies.

Workshop Format

The workshop participants serve as subject-matter-experts and the process is facilitated by senior consultants of Waters & Company. As a first step, participants are asked to rank order proven competencies that have been validated against success in key management positions in local government. In order to clarify these rankings, the following questions are asked:

  • What are the organizational considerations impacting your work?
  • In comparing high performers vs. low performers, what are the outcomes that should be produced by highly successful people in this position
  • What are the essential behaviors required to successfully achieve these strategic business goals and outcomes?

Following this “Job Discussion” stage, participants review the complete “library” of 17 competencies, which encompasses work-related behaviors and skills identified by a firm of organizational psychologists. The development of the model includes structured exercises facilitated by our senior consultants as participants debate and defend their rationale for the ranking they have selected. These exercises incorporate individual decision-making as well as group discussions and consensus building. 

The competence model building process concludes by revisiting the job discussion summary to verify and match the Outcomes and Behaviors with the selected competencies and assess if any competencies may have been missed. As a final check, job discussion notes are again revisited and compared against the model to make final additions or changes.

Waters & Company Executive Recruitment, A Springsted Company   |   Mailing: 14285 Midway Road, Suite 340   |   Dallas, TX 75001   |   [Toll-free:]  800.899.1669   |   [e]  information@waters-company.com
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