We have all likely heard the term “bench-strength” and convinced ourselves that collecting a group of talented people who have potential to be the next big thing in leadership and management somehow makes us sleep better at night. We feel at ease knowing that if anyone on our team leaves or gets promoted into a new opportunity, we have a group of people ready to step into that spot. Unfortunately, the comfort associated with having a bench is much like that workout machine that sits in our basement. It will do us no good unless we put it to use.
Having an increasing number of employees be ready, willing, and able to take on more complex roles within the agency is absolutely necessary to future success, sustainability, and growth of your organization. What you do to strengthen your bench will ultimately determine the direction of your company. If your talent just sits there on a list, they are bound to get dusty and by the time it is their turn to step into a leadership role, they will be leading tomorrow with yesterdays ideas and capabilities. On the contrary, if you actively engage your bench, work them out, and create a diverse set of skills and capabilities, you will see a whole different set of results.