In pursuit of outstanding succession planning, a couple of years ago, we made a deliberate decision to ditch the list and shift our focus from the conventional process to a strategy that turbocharges the growth and readiness of our talent bench. At Spotify, we’re passionate about nurturing the growth of band members with potential and ability to drive future business success in a leadership role with greater complexity and scope. We know it makes sense for both our people and our business.
As we gear up our talent bench for future challenges in times of resourcefulness, and we’ve rejected the notion of investing significant time in designing a traditional high-potential leadership development program, it’s clear that now is the opportune moment to flex our creativity muscles and leverage what’s at our disposal to propel our talent bench forward.
Let’s be clear: our talent bench already enjoys an array of exceptional leadership development offerings – this is not a luxury, but a strategic necessity. We know that internal mobility is a vital lever propelling our talents towards diverse experiences, enriching their growth portfolios, and ensuring they’re game-ready. That’s why we’re always exploring ways to expose our talents to new growth opportunities. And in that exploration, one approach stands out as being incredibly undervalued – a method with numerous benefits that comes at no cost: direct exposure to senior leadership!
Exposing Talents: Spotify’s Boardroom Revelation
Spotify’s leadership commitment to being a people-first company not only spans from the bottom up but also from the highest echelons down. And we’re fortunate to have access to our exceptionally engaged Board of Directors. This engagement and passion for our people, prompted the Board of Directors to take the lead in suggesting ways that they could contribute to the development of our talent bench.
On their initiative, we orchestrated two informal lunches with our Board of Directors, and a diverse group of emerging talented band members from our talent bench – talk about exposure!
We embraced simplicity, and invited a diverse group of Spotifiers from the talent bench with various educational backgrounds, roles, departments, gender, and ethnicity to spark dynamic discussions. The band members had the unique opportunity to introduce themselves and to bring forth their curiosities in both large and smaller groups. The experience was a hit, not only with our band members but our Board of Directors too. What started as a one-time opportunity became a two-time opportunity as the Board of Directors wanted to do it again.
The Power of Exposure
Exposure to new situations, leaders, questions, contexts are drivers of both professional and personal growth. And exposure to senior leadership is no different – it serves as a catalyst, broadening perspectives and fostering a deeper understanding of the bigger picture. Regular interactions with our senior leaders not only helps prepare our talent bench for future leadership roles but also underscores their significance in our success, making them feel recognised and seen.
Band members who participated in the lunches were taken aback by the Board’s genuine passion for Spotify and their keen interest in connecting with the band. These intimate discussions left our band members inspired and armed with career advice, such as: “Keep a beginner mindset,” “Embrace a growth mindset in challenging times,” “Prioritize hard,” and “Focus on asking the right questions, not having the right answers.”
We’re grateful and inspired by our committed Board of Directors who embraced this initiative and who keep the door open for new ideas to come – and as the development of the talent bench is so important and fruitful, we can be sure that there will be more ideas. Watch this space….