Leadership & Career Development

Avail Leadership helps organizations apply leading edge succession practices across their whole organization so all employees are constantly developing.

Organizations that have an effective Leadership & Career Development system:

  • Don’t need to scramble to find a replacement every time someone leaves the organization.
  • Save enormous amounts of time and money that are lost when vacancies are waiting to be filled.
  • Have higher employee engagement and retention.
  • Are able to seamlessly transfer knowledge from outgoing incumbent to incoming successor.
  • Are better able to execute the strategic plan because they know they’ll have the people to complete strategic objectives.

Achieving these benefits can be a game-changer. It can mean the difference between fighting to stay competitive, to being an industry leader. This requires a whole new mindset and taking a very different approach to leadership & talent development.


Get the scoop on the new book!

Leadership & Career Development Implementation

Avail Leadership partners with clients in two ways.  First, Avail Leadership provides clients with a series of workshops designed to lay the groundwork for an organization-wide leadership and talent development program.  These workshops educate senior managers on the implementation process and their roles and responsibilities, and helps them develop the tools and skills they need to carry them out.  Second, Avail Leadership guides senior management teams through the implementation process to ensure all critical positions have an effective succession plan and key employees are being developed to fill critical positions.

"In positioning our business for growth, we recognized that we needed to plan ahead to ensure we had the right people at the right time.  Michael provided us with a system and a roadmap to accomplish just that, and has been an expert guide along the way.  We look forward to his further involvement in our people development program."

- Larry Huber, General Manager Marshall Aerospace Canada Inc.

"Avail leadership has a well-defined and effective process for continued people development, and I appreciated the organized and meticulous process to ensure a successful program launch.  I would highly recommend Avail Leadership to any organization seeking to invest in the quality of their people and the long-term sustainability of their organization."

- Guy West, President, ABCRC

“Our management team and I are ecstatic with what Michael has done for us.  He’s laid out a game plan and taken the guesswork out of succession planning, working with us every step of the way.  We’re looking to the future with a lot more excitement and confidence rather than trepidation.  We all agree that this has been a great investment”

- David Vadocz, P.Eng. Principal,
Berkeley Vadocz Engineering Inc.

“Succession planning with Michael has not only helped us to put together a plan for the sustainability of our organization, it has help us to understand what is important to us so that we are clearer about our direction.”

- Lilla Tipton, CEO, Inclusion Powell River Society

"The City of Moose Jaw understood the need for succession planning, we just didn’t know how to do it. We engaged Avail Leadership and the results were incredible: we engaged our staff on defining leadership competencies, our senior managers are now acting as career coaches to staff, and we are fast-tracking the development of our rising stars. The entire process was exciting and fun and we are elated with the outcomes."

- Al Bromley, Director of Human Resource Services, City of Moose Jaw

"The process we went through to identify leadership competencies was thorough and efficient. Our senior leadership team was very happy with the results. This was a very good use of our money and time."

- Karen Sam Leong, HR Manager, Cowell Auto Group

Succession Planning That Works - Workshop Series

Module 1 – Succession Fundamentals

Length: Full Day

Participants learn the essential building blocks of establishing a succession plan or improving an existing one, and how to avoid common, costly pitfalls.  They will also begin taking the initial steps towards building a customized succession plan for their organization.


Participants will learn

  • The 3 fundamental principles of building a practical, sustainable succession plan that works for any size of organization.
  • How succession planning and talent development can be integrated into the corporate strategy.
  • The most common challenges of implementing and sustaining succession planning, and strategies to overcome them.
  • What a world-class succession plan looks like and how it works.
  • The principles and mechanics of identifying critical positions and high potential employees.
  • How to conduct an effective talent review.

Value:  $6,500

Module 2 – Developing Leadership Competencies

Length: Two non-management cohorts: Half-Day.  Sr. Management cohort: Full Day

The very first, most foundational talent management priority is to establish consistent criteria for performance and promotion.  Effective leadership competencies provide the platform for, and guide, all other talent management programs and decisions, including recruiting, on-boarding, recognition, training, development, performance management, and promotion.  Simple, compelling, leadership competencies align everyone in the organization with what it takes to be successful, and define the level of performance required in leadership positions.

Participants will learn

  • The definition of leadership and how everyone can be a leader, regardless of their formal title.
  • How to become more proactive and cultivate a results-oriented approach to management.
  • The purpose of competencies and the role they play in succession planning, as well as every other talent management practice.
  • The value and benefits of establishing a consistent criteria for recruitment and promotion.
  • The role that competencies play in culture change, and how to apply them to change behavior and achieve desired business results.

Value:  $16,000

Module 3 – Change Management

Length: Full Day

Too often, leaders attempt to change the way people act without attempting to change the way they think (i.e., their beliefs).  Before people take any action, they first must believe that the action they are taking is in their best interest.  And beliefs are informed by experiences.  Most change efforts fail because those leading change efforts typically focus only on the desired behaviours and associated results, while largely ignoring the deep-seated cultural beliefs that are producing the current behaviours. 

For the desired behaviours to become cultural norms, change efforts must address a) the desired results, b) the behaviours required to produce the results, c) the beliefs that govern behaviour, and d) the experiences that inform the beliefs.   

Participants will learn

  • The definition of culture, it’s influence on individual and group performance, and how creating a culture of accountability positively impacts the bottom line.
  • How to apply the Results Pyramid® approach to create a culture that can support and sustain ongoing succession planning and talent development.
  • The difference between accountability and blame and how to foster a culture of accountability.
  • How to leverage the strengths of their existing culture to accelerate the change towards the desired culture.
  • How to use culture management tools such as focused feedback, focused storytelling, and focused recognition.

Value:  $6,500

Module 4 – Delegation and Empowerment

Length: Full Day

How many times have you asked someone to do something for you and the result was disastrous?  After a few experiences like these, many managers have unconsciously adopted the belief that “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”  When managers believe this, they stop being a leader.  Their capacity is limited to what they personally can do, and employee development and engagement go out the window.

Effective delegation is the cornerstone of leadership.  Organizations that delegate effectively engage the full capacity of their workforce and save truckloads of salary dollars as work gets logically and efficiently passed down to the lowest possible level in the organization.

Participants will learn

  • The principles and benefits of effective delegation.
  • What, how and when to delegate.
  • Five essential steps of effective delegation.
  • How to maintain control without being controlling.
  • How to effectively use delegation as a training and development tool.

Value:  $6,500

Module 5 – Career Coaching

Length: Full Day

One of the most effective retention and engagement tools organizations can employ is to hold regular career development discussions with their employees. Managers who do so are able to align employee’s goals with the needs of the organization. They send a clear message to employees “Look no further: you have a future here!” Employees who feel that their employer truly cares about their development are proven to be more engaged, more productive and have lower absenteeism and turnover. The ability of managers to hold effective career development discussions with their staff is a critical skill required to enable organizations to develop a succession plan and put it into action.

Participants will learn

  • The benefits of holding career development discussions.
  • The role of career development discussions in the succession planning process.
  • How to identify high potential employees and craft development plans that facilitate leadership development.
  • The components of effective career development discussions and how to bring them all together.
  • To conduct a development gap analysis, and design high impact development activities.

Value:  $6,500

Module 6 – Change Management Follow-Up

Length: Half-Day

Sustaining the new, enhanced culture requires careful attention and follow-up to ensure the planned experiences are occurring, and that they are producing the desired beliefs, behaviours and results.  At the conclusion of the Succession Planning Implementation Project, Avail Leadership will facilitate a half-day workshop with senior managers to review the results of the change efforts and modify the planned experiences as needed.

Participants will learn

  • How the execution of planned experiences impacts the strength of, and conformity to, the desired cultural beliefs.
  • How to more effectively provide feedback and recognition in a way the supports the desired cultural beliefs and results.
  • How to identify systems (or processes) that support cultural beliefs, both desirable and undesirable.

Value:  $5,000

Never wonder again who’s going to fill your next vacancy.

Get the book that finally simplifies succession planning.

Based on in-depth interviews with over 50 senior executives, Succession Planning That Works unveils a step-by-step approach to develop or improve a succession plan for any size of organization.

Discover why some succession plans succeed, and others fail.


Topics include

  • 13 research-based reasons to begin succession planning now.
  • How to calculate the ROI of promoting from within.
  • The Succession Planning Critical Path – the most efficient and effective way to implement a succession plan.
  • How to gain or strengthen executive buy-in for succession planning.
  • How to measure your success.

What people are saying

“This is an invaluable guide for identifying, and taking advantage of, talent within organizations.”

- Barry Silverstein, Clarion Reviews

“Michael has developed an excellent guidebook and toolkit for senior HR leaders and executives looking to implement meaningful succession planning practices in any size of organization.”

- Kelli Forster, VP of HR, Dynamic Structures

“This book delivers on one of its central tenets: it’s a straightforward, practical guide to developing a succession plan that works.”

- Tanya Wick, VP of Corporate Services, Tolko Industries Ltd.

“Timms has made it easy for the average manager to put an excellent succession program in place.  It's chock-full of excellent, practical advice.”

- Rick Dacri, HR Consultant and Adviser

“I was charged with setting up a Succession Plan for my company and bought your book. It was just what I was looking for. The templates you provided access to was icing on the cake.”

- Ellen Stortz, VP HR, Smith Douglas Homes

“I am leading a succession planning initiative at my company. I ordered several books on succession planning but found myself using this one more often because it is more direct and easier to use.”

- Amazon Customer

Related Blog Posts

Copyright 2019 | Avail Leadership