To stay current with the rapid rate of change and talent mobility, UC’s managers focus on identifying talented individuals to develop with the learning experiences needed to be ready for the next opportunity when it opens. This produces a supply of internal staff whose career interests align with the organization's staffing needs. It also serves to motivate high-performing, high-potential staff to continue their careers at UC.

Organizational readiness, and individual readiness, are the result of planned activities that:

  • Identify the organization’s future needs and an individual’s career interests
  • Provide performance and potential feedback to individuals
  • Identify key roles and skills needed to meet UC’s future needs
  • Guide and direct professional development activities to develop skills in individuals for those roles
  • Promote the conversation of internal talent management  

When done effectively, UC derives a direct return on investment in the professional development of individuals, through reduced costs of external searches and reduced loss of productivity due to key openings remaining vacant. Individuals benefit from the support the organization provides for professional development and career growth.

An effective organizational readiness strategy encompasses seven steps:

As with any strategic planning process, it starts with a vision of the desired outcome.

  • What do you want the organization to be able to do in 3 to 5 years?
  • What significant changes do you anticipate?

Your organization may already have a vision and strategies for implementing it. Most strategies don’t get into the details of what staff members are accomplishing which elements of the strategy. Now is the time for you to do a staffing or workforce strategy to accomplish your organizational strategy.

  • Who will deliver on the strategic goals?


To bring that vision and strategy alive, the organization structure must be designed to deliver that vision.

  • How might work be done differently?
  • By different functions or staff?

Identify what roles are critical to the success of the organization, the ones you don’t want vacant for long periods of time.

  • What roles are critical to accomplish the vision?


Within the structure, what competencies will need to be demonstrated in those critical roles?

  • Today?
  • For the future?


Take a look at your current inventory of talent.

  • What is your current bench strength in these critical roles, and do they have the needed competencies?
  • Are your individual staff members performing their current roles well?
  • Do the individuals have potential for growth?


Two different approaches to the 9 Block tool from two UC locations.

Analyze the gap between your current staff and what you’ll need for the future.


Articulating the gap will inform you what to do next.

  • Develop your high performing, high potential staff for future roles and responsibilities, and create a pipeline that makes filling those positions with internal candidates easier.
  • Manage your low performers.
  • Find out what will retain your steady performers and put those things into play.
  • Connect recruiting efforts with internal source pools of candidates ready for their next opportunity.


After select milestones, measure your efforts and determine if you are hitting your objectives, what’s giving the best results, and where adjustments need to be made to make the process ongoing.

This is a complex process with many components, appropriate since you’re addressing the staffing needs of the organization in the moment and in the future.