Critical Roles in your Organisation - A Playbook - Deepstash

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What is a Critical Role?

  • A critical role in your organisation is a role that is critical to operations. The responsibility assigned to the role and the interpersonal skills required to succeed in the role will relatively be higher than any other. 
  • The misconception among organisations is that critical roles are always found in the top layer. This is far from the truth. They are found across different layers in organisations. 


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Types of Critical Roles

  • There are 2 types of critical roles - value creators and enablers.
  • Value creators directly generate revenue, lower operating costs, and increase capital efficiency.
  • Value enablers, such as leaders of support functions like cybersecurity or risk management, perform indispensable work that enables the creators.


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Identification of Critical Role

  • Define the priorities: Identify business priorities and assess whether the organisation's current talent pool can cater to that business need. 
  • Identifying Critical Roles: Identify the roles in the organisation that will help the organisation achieve these business priorities. 
  • Assign values to these roles: Assign values using parameters such as 'A 5-year projection of the business’s operating margin'. 
  • Shortlist top-50 roles and make hiring, retention, performance management, and succession planning a priority. 


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Creation of Role Cards

  • Create a Role Card for this Top-50 Critical Roles: A list of jobs to be done, with a checklist of what was needed to capture the role’s outsized share of value; and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Role cards are created to get a view of the potential outcomes of any given role, anywhere in the organization.


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Match Talent to Roles

  • Reallocating Talent: Once critical roles are identified, it is important to assign high performers to these roles. This is done through: 
  • Objective comparisons between candidates across a variety of specific dimensions
  • Rigorously assessing incumbents against value-linked role requirements


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Operationalize and Mobilize

  • Periodic Assessments: An HR leadership team might meet monthly to identify trends across business units—Find answers to questions such as:
  1. Is this individual delivering the value expected? 
  2. What interventions (for instance, coaching or better-aligned incentives) can support this individual?
  • Data dashboards: Each critical role will have a customized dashboard to trace the progress on relevant operational and financial KPIs (for example, segmented earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) against development activities (for instance, an instructional course).


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