Southern Company Case

Published: 2021-06-29 07:00:55
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Category: Business

Type of paper: Essay

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Southern Company one of the largest in its industry provides the service of electric and utility based in Atlanta, GA that was founded in 1945. It serves more than 4.4 million customers in the southeast part of the United States. They own and operate in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Southern is also known for fiber optics and wireless communications and is well known for their customer service, high reliability and their prices which is below the national average. They have been the top ranking U.S. electric service provider for none straight years. They employ about 26,000 people between the four plants. Southern Company knew that soon some of its tenured leaders would be retiring and they knew it was time to develop a succession plan to make sure that they had a pipeline of leaders to keep the business going and being successful. "In the late 1970's and 80's, Southern hired a mass number of people and they had a very low turnover rate which resulted in their leadership being stable but getting older" (Goldsmith and Carter, p.242) and the reason why it was time for them to develop the succession plan and that would progress a new generation of successful leaders for the company. This paper will discuss how the how the effectiveness of the leaders at Southern played a role in the talent management (TM) strategy, will touch on a 5 point criteria for evaluating the effectiveness and how the data could be collected, reviewing the components of their TM and how it improves Southern's ability to identify highly qualified individuals.
Talent Management is defined as "an integrated set of processes, programs, and cultural norms in an organization designed and implemented to attract, develop, deploy, and retain talent to achieve strategic objectives and meet future business needs" ( Sitzer and Dowell, p. 18). Talent management also lists some of the following components to be successful: recruitment and selection, promotion, incentives, and onboarding. Examining strategy through the eyes of leadership focuses the topic on the critical task that a leader must undertake to create and execute strategy (Fuller and Green, 2005). The leaders build both the organizational culture and capability for executing strategy. Leaders must ask the question of, "How are they as a firm going to employ our own resources to achieve the goals that they have set. Taking a strategic position that delivers value and communicating that value inside and out are the core leadership task in crafting a strategy (Fuller and Green, 2005). Southern's CEO took an in depth review of the succession planning and leadership development. With the review it would determine the steps necessary to take leadership to the next level and to make sure that there was enough leadership talent. Over the course of this review Executives and managers were interviewed so that the company could learn about the strengths and weaknesses about succession planning and the leadership development. The leaders at Southern Company were well engaged in the talent management strategy process by provide their feedback and ideas on this subject matter discussing what has worked and what has not worked over the years and the different things that they have done to assist in developing leaders of the future. They help to set measurable goals and objectives for the organization. A good leader lays out a strategy that people will grasp and accept out of the trust, than gets everyone working from top to bottom to achieve that strategy. They help to build long term benefits for everyone involved in the company from stakeholders, employees and customers. With the right plan and right people in place, the company will be able to easily adapt the fast paced changes of the world and those people will be motivated to follow through. Southern had a strategy that focused on many things and one was "Invest in our people". With this they would attract, retain, equip and protect a diverse and inclusive work force. Southern learned that leaders were viewing potentials through different lenses and therefore were different opinions of people's capabilities and potential. The role that Southern's leaders played helped create and improve the leadership development. Southern adopted the leadership framework from the book of "The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company" (Goldsmith and Carter, 2010). Part of this framework is knowing that leadership starts with the work that they perform. Southern began their leadership framework by identifying the most important leadership transitions. Southern identified six levels of leadership:
1. Individual contributor - leads self
2. First line manager - leads a team of individual contributors
3. Manager of managers - leads a large department
4. Functional manager - leads a single function
5. Multi-functional manager - leads the company, major business unit or major function
6. CEO/Business

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