Critical Role Risk Template | Brian Heger

Talent Management

As I mentioned in a post from a few weeks ago, while there has been a much-needed shift in expanding our view of “work” beyond the limitations of roles (e.g., skills and tasks), critical roles are still an important lens through which workforce and talent planning takes place. With this as the backdrop, here is a one-editable page template that practitioners can use to gain directional insights into the level of risk exposure in their critical positions. The template provides a quick and easy way to evaluate which critical roles might be exposed to four different risks. The four risks and their evaluation statements are:

  1. Incumbent Risk. There is a low risk of the incumbent leaving the role in the near future.
  2. Internal Bench Risk. The internal talent pipeline for backfilling this role is relatively strong.
  3.  Development Risk. Internal talent can be developed for this role within a reasonable time and cost and without disruption to the business.
  4.  External Talent Risk. Hiring external talent for this role can be done within reasonable time and cost and with little disruption to the business. 

The template provides space to enter your critical roles in column 1, and subsequent columns can be used to respond to four risk statements by putting a checkmark in the box when you agree with the risk statement. Clicking the box will automatically insert a check mark. Upon completion, the visual will show you where the greatest risk exists (i.e., empty boxes indicate high risk). A simple exercise like this can help identify and prioritize actions for reducing risk in your organization’s critical positions.