Virtual Learning Resource Centre

Talent management and succession planning


The following resources are recommended by Ashridge and where possible we have included links to suppliers or the resource itself. All the resources are available in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at Ashridge.


Coaching to Improve Performance (1993), Performance Consultants, parts 1 and 2:20 minutes each.

David Whitaker, David Hemery and Sir John Whitmore discuss the benefits of applying their sports coaching model to a business context. Part one introduces these ideas, and includes a powerful demonstration of the difference between telling and coaching (using the 'GROW' model). In part two, David Whitaker visits a British building society, and uses his coaching skills to help real people (whom he does not know) to improve their performance in their jobs (with which he is not familiar).

Back to the top

Journal articles

Barlow, Liz, (2006), Talent development: the new imperative?, Development and Learning in Organizations, 20 (3), pp 6-9.

Beaty, et al (1993), Action Learning: Reflections on Becoming a Set Member, in Management Education and Development, 24(4): pp 350-367.

Boudreau, J.W. & Ramstad, P.M. (2005), Talentship, Talent Segmentation and Sustainability: A new HR decision science paradigm for a new strategy definition, Human Resource Management 44(2) pp 129-136.

Chambers, E; Foulon, M;Handfield-Jones, H, Hanking, S & Michaels E. (1998), The war for talent, The Mckinsey Quarterly, 1(3) pp 44-58.

CIPD (2006), Talent Management Understanding the Dimensions,

Clutterbuck, D. (2005), Succession planning: a developmental approach, Development and Learning in Organizations,19,(5), pp 11-13.

Cunningham, Ian. (2007) ,Talent management: making it real, Development and Learning in Organizations, 21(3) pp 4-6.

Donahue, K.B. (2001), Time to get serious about talent management, Harvard Business Review 6-7.

Farley, C. (2005), HR's role in talent management and driving business results, Employment Relations Today 32(1): pp 55-61.

Frank, F.D. & Taylor, C.D. (2004), Talent management: Trends that will shape the future, Human Resource Planning pp 33-41.

Frank, F.D, Finnegan,P & Taylor, C.D. (2004), The race for talent: retaining and engaging workers in the 21st Century, Human Resource Planning, Sep, pp 12- 25.

Groves, Kevin, (2007), Integrating leadership development and succession planning best practices, Journal of Management Development, 26(3) pp 239-260.

Lubitsch, G., Glanfield, P., Devine, M., Orbea, A., Blass, E. (2007), Talent management becoming a strategic conversation,

Tucker, E., Kao, T. & Verma, N. (2005), Next generation talent management: Insights on how workforce trends are changing the face of talent management, Business Credit 107(7) pp 20-28.

Back to the top

Information files

  • Talent management
  • Succession planning.


To purchase books online via the Ashridge eBookshop, click on the Ashridge logo, which opens a secure site. For any Ashridge bookshop enquiries please contact:

Learning Resource Centre

Tel: +44 (0)1442 841159
Fax: +44 (0)1442 841211

Order book from Order book from Berger, L.A.; Berger, D.R (2004), The Talent Management Handbook: Creating Organizational Excellence by Identifying, Developing, and Promoting Your Best People, McGraw Hill.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (BER)

The book reveals how to connect organisational excellence to people management by systematically identifying, keeping, developing and promoting the best people. It explains how to build all your HR disciplines on the building blocks of organisational competencies, performance appraisal, and forecast of employee/manager potential, and also how to enhance employee improvement through coaching, mentoring, constructive dialogue, and feedback from many organisational levels.

Order book from Order book from Byham, William C., Smith, Audrey B., Paese, Matthew J. (2002), Grow Your Own Leaders: How to Identify, Develop, and Retain Leadership Talent, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMHL (BYH)

Comprehensive and practical, Grow Your Own Leaders covers every phase of executive development and succession, introducing high-impact, no-bureaucracy techniques that work. Readers will discover how to align executive development with corporate strategy; how to take full advantage of short-term assignments, professional coaching, and other new approaches; and how to ensure accountability and measure results.

Order book from Order book from Fulmer, R.M. & Conger, J.A. (2004), Growing Your Company's Leaders: How Great Organizations Use Succession Management to Sustain Competitive Advantage, Amacom.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (FUL)

Growing Your Company's Leaders offers the results of a study of five global leaders in succession strategy: Dow Chemical, Dell Computer, Eli Lilly, Pan Canadian Petroleum, and Sonoco. Readers will learn what these and sixteen other high-profile organizations are doing to identify, secure, and prepare the next generation of leaders.

Order book from Ashridge Charan, R., Drotter, S., Noel, J.(2001), The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company, Jossey-Bass Inc.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (CHA)

This book delivers a proven framework for priming future leaders by planning for their development, coaching them, and measuring the results of those efforts. Moreover, the book presents a combination leadership-development/succession-planning programme that ensures a steady line-up of leaders for every critical position within the company. It's an approach that bolsters the retention of intellectual capital as it eliminates the need to go outside for expensive "stars," who will probably jump ship before they reach their full potential anyway.

Order book from Ashridge McCall Jnr, M. W. (1998), High Flyers: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders, Harvard Business School Press.
Ashridge shelf reference:AKC (MCC)

This book challenges conventional wisdom about how to groom executives for the top positions in your firm. It presents a strategic framework for identifying and developing future executives that senior managers can use to find the hidden talents in their midst. McCall demonstrates that the best executives aren't necessarily managers who possess a generic list of traits, or who have been successful due to survival of the fittest. Rather the real leaders of the future are those who have the ability to learn from their experiences and remain open to continuous learning.

Order book from Order book from Munro, A. (2005), Practical Succession Management: How to Future-proof Your Organisation, Gower Publishing Limited.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (MUN)

Practical Succession Management is a response to the increasing relevance of proactive succession management but the widespread difficulty of making it happen. The author focuses on the business realities of succession management rather than provide a conceptualisation of how it might work in principle or simply headline a series of corporate 'just so' stories.

Order book from Order book from Michaels E., Handfield-Jones H, Alexrod, B (2001), The War for Talent, Harvard Business School Press.
Ashridge shelf reference:JPB (MIC)

McKinsey and Company consultants Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones and Beth Axelrod argue that winning the war for leadership talent is about much more than frenzied recruiting tactics. It is about the timeless principles of attracting, developing and retaining highly talented managers – applied in bold new ways. And it is about recognising the strategic importance of human capital because of the enormous value that better talent creates. The authors propose a fundamentally new approach to talent management. They describe how to: create a winning EVP (employee value proposition) that will make your company uniquely attractive to talent; move beyond recruiting hype to build a long-term recruiting strategy; use job experiences, coaching and mentoring to cultivate the potential in managers; strengthen your talent pool by investing in A players, developing B players and acting decisively on C players.

Order book from Order book from Peters, T.J. (2005), Essentials: Talent, Dorling Kindersley.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (PET)

Make your business a place where talent rules. Get the best of the best in every line of endeavour with this crucial guide to talent in the workplace. Perceptive, provocative and inspiring ideas to transform the way you work, reinvent your business and make your organisation truly talent–attractive from management guru Tom Peters.

Order book from Order book from Rothwell, W. (2005), Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within, Amacom.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (ROT)

When key employees and executives move on – whether expectedly or unexpectedly – organisations had better have a good succession plan in place. The most comprehensive and authoritative book on the subject, Effective Succession Planning, has helped countless companies develop strong succession programs and avoid major disruptions. Thoroughly revised to reflect the latest trends and best practices, the book presents strategies for identifying competencies, clarifying values, assessing current and future needs, and creating a complete, systematic succession planning program.

Order book from Order book from Wolfe, R.L. (1996), Systematic Succession Planning: Building Leadership from Within (Crisp Fifty-Minute Series), McGraw Hill.
Ashridge shelf reference:JMK (WOL)

Read and learn the difference between replacement planning and succession planning, how to develop a succession plan for each work group, why key positions may not be obvious and may not always be at the top, and how to evaluate individuals for future opportunities.

Back to the top

Useful websites

Action learning bibliography

A resource list which supports the regular public programme "areol" (action research and evaluation on line) offered twice a year beginning in mid-February and mid-July.

CIPD podcast on talent management

A podcast containing the views of experts and practioners on talent management. Approximate time 17 mins (11.6 MB).

Back to the top

Last modified: 05/09/2007