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A high standard for lining up replacements for vice presidents in a law department

“General Mills Inc. tracks the number of ready-now candidates for each position at or above the vice president level.” The company requires senior executives to cultivate and list who has the training and experience to step into each VP position. This comes from MIT Sloan Mgt. Rev., Vol. 50, Fall 2008 at 68.

Many law departments have some vice presidents among their lawyers, but I suspect very few of their general counsel have “ready-now” candidates for each of those VP positions. General Mills has an “ultimate goal of 10 candidates for each executive job.” No law department has anything near such a well-stocked bullpen.

General Mills “also measures movement in the talent pool, reporting the percentage who have been promoted, the percentage who participated in significant development activities and their retention rates.” Few law departments have the heft to do this for VPs, but it is an aspiration for high-potential lawyers (See my post of July 29, 2007: high potentials with 10 references.).

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