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Cultivating Finance Talent: Where Will Your Future Finance Leader Come From?
Part 2 - Development


If you missed part 1 - click here


Reliable, innovative, and continuous finance leadership. It’s a vital aspect of any organization’s financial success and future growth. Is your organization practicing the kind of rigorous recruitment and development processes it takes to stay rich in internal talent resources? It’s important from both a human resources and a financial perspective to acquire high-potential employees and cultivate their talent.

From the start, time and money are invested in the people you hire. Implementing strong hiring and development processes reduces high-cost turnover, creates a skilled talent pool, and promotes employee contribution and commitment to the company. These practices enable businesses to build leaders from the bottom up


Just as timing is important in effective recruiting, it’s also critical in the development of finance leaders in an organization. When should it begin? For most businesses, the start of development processes hinge on job title. When employees reach a reasonably high level in the organization, often after they are in management roles, their development and leadership training begins. Unfortunately, how they have risen in the organization or how qualified they are to manage hasn’t been established.

  • Has this person been prepared for leadership roles?
  • Is he interested in managing other people?
  • Does she have a true understanding of a manager’s role?

If these questions aren’t addressed before an employee is promoted, businesses can spend huge amounts of development dollars on ineffectual leaders who don’t have the skills, desire, or understanding of what it takes to manage. They can “lead” finance teams and the greater organization in all the worst ways: high turnover, low morale, ineffective operations, and communication problems. A bottom-up assessment and selection approach would have disqualified these “leaders” at a much earlier stage in their careers.

Push your employees to lead

What if your employees were required to drive the management qualification process rather than relying on the company to pull them through it? Rather than first-line leadership development that begins leadership training only after individuals have been selected for management, consider push-based leadership development and qualification.

In a push strategy, employees navigate themselves along their early-development path, using self-paced educational and assessment tools such as online training and skills development courses. They assume responsibility for successfully guiding themselves up the initial rungs of the organizational ladder and through the early stages of management qualification and selection. This can help gauge employees’ interest in becoming managers while developing their managerial potential. Pull-based talent assessment strategies, on the other hand, cultivate internal leadership by defining requirements and assessing potential candidates for the skills, vision, and experience it takes to run the company. Leaders are identified, targeted for future development, and then guided through the organization.

This from-the-start, bottom-up approach helps companies define their criteria for transitioning employees into management, improves overall development efforts, and expands the internal pool of leadership talent. At the same time, it puts the onus for seeking out and qualifying for advancement opportunities on individual contributors who must choose to participate in the process. Employees who have the drive to commit to a professional development regimen demonstrate their commitment both to growing within the organization and to becoming a manager. By starting with push-based development processes, a business can begin cultivating motivated, high-potential performers from the start.

What is the return?

So after investing time and more resources in fine-tuning recruitment and establishing push-based development processes, what’s the return? A more aligned, knowledgeable, committed, and motivated workforce. With recruitment that focuses on carefully matching talent to the organization and early-development processes that encourage employees to initiate their own leadership identification and training, a business is able to cultivate talent at every level and constantly expand its greatest leadership resource—the internal workforce.


How can we help? Please let us know how we can support you or your business?