Leadership and Strategy: Identifying specialized knowledge and creating roadmaps for future leaders
The Ministry of Housing and Social Development brings together the “responsibility for housing with social development and support to assist all British Columbians in achieving their economic potential” (Service Plan 2009/10) It employs approximately 2,700 people in a variety of roles and settings.
Like many other public sector organizations, the ministry was challenged by the need to identify and develop future leaders, while ensuring that mission-critical knowledge was not lost when staff retired.
The ministry had adopted the process of using “review boards” through which to conduct performance evaluations of managers and supervisors. In 2008/09 this practice won a Premier’s award. The review board starts with, supervisors who assess their staff. This performance evaluation is then brought forward to a ministry-wide committee. What is unique about this process is that it:
- identifies what knowledge the employee has and whether or not there is a need to transfer this knowledge;
- provides the ministry with an organization-wide perspective of their specialists, their senior high performers and those with potential for future leadership positions;
- allows the ministry to identify where knowledge may be at risk;
- provides an opportunity to build capacity for the future; and
- allows staff and managers alike to think beyond their particular work units.