U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
EMS TRANSMISSION 03/10/2006
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-103
To: All Washington and Field Office Officials
Attn: Human Resources Officers
Subject: Leadership Succession Policy
Program Area: Human Resources
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) outlines the BLM policy for leadership succession. It provides a roadmap for employees wishing to explore and develop their leadership skills. Attachment 1 shows BLM’s succession planning process.
Policy: The BLM is committed to the development and enhancement of our employees for leadership positions and has adopted a Leadership Succession Plan (Plan). The Plan identifies key Senior Executive Service (SES) and non-SES leadership positions within BLM. This Plan is based on the findings and recommendations in the 2005 Leadership Development and Succession Planning for BLM’s Key Leadership Positions Report (Report) prepared by the Field Committee. The Plan is in the final revision stage and will be released shortly. It is important, however, to share the tenets of the Plan with our employees now.
The Field Committee Report provided a number of recommendations; the primary one is to use the Leadership Excellence Program (LEP) (see attachment 2) under the sponsorship of the National Training Center (NTC) as the basis for the development of our future leaders. The Field Committee has requested, and the NTC Board of Regents has approved, the addition of another course to the LEP. The course is the Emerging Leaders Program, and it is designed to help our employees’ transition from staff to team leaders and first line supervisors. This course is currently under development and is expected to be piloted in late FY 2006.
The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) has broadened the BLM Leadership Succession Plan to include a competitive Leadership Track advertised at the GS-14/15 level. The purpose of the Leadership Track is to continue the growth and development of leadership skills in the key non-SES leadership positions at the GS-14 and GS-15 levels. The leadership track is available to internal and external candidates who have completed the Leadership Academy, equivalent external training or can show through experience they meet the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) leadership criteria. The managers selected into the non-SES key leadership positions will serve as the internal recruitment pool for SES development and placement, as they exhibit success in these more challenging positions.
The key components of the Leadership Track program are as follows:
- BLM will advertise all non-SES key positions through one advertisement
- Applicants will self select for the non-SES key upper management leadership positions in which they have interest:
Ÿ Deputy Assistant DirectorŸ Washington Office Group Manager
Ÿ Associate State Director Ÿ Deputy Group Manager
Ÿ Center Director Ÿ District Manager
Ÿ Deputy Center Director Ÿ Field Manager
Ÿ Deputy State Director Ÿ Area Manager
Ÿ Special Agent in Charge
- BLM will advertise the vacancy announcement for the Leadership Track on Quick Hire as an open continuous announcement for a year.
- The best-qualified applications will be reviewed by panels of subject matter experts, which will be composed of the ELT members. If you are among the best qualified, you will be placed on a standing roster for 1 year. Additional names will be added through open continuous announcements. A successful applicant will remain on the roster for 1 year from the time the applicant’s name is placed on the roster.
- When a non-SES key leadership position becomes vacant, the appropriate roster will be provided to the selecting official for consideration and selection.
- Once an individual is selected for a vacant position, their new supervisor will work with them to develop an IDP, which focuses on the continuing growth of the leadership competencies required of a Leader, highlighting interpersonal and communications skills.
- Once accepted into this Leadership track, an employee may be promoted or reassigned to other non-SES key leadership positions without further competition.
- During or upon completion of the agreed upon development plan, these employees may be sponsored by the ELT for the SES Candidate Development Program (SESCDP).
The BLM currently has a number of non-SES key vacancies and will open Merit Promotion and DEU (external hire) vacancy announcements by March 15, 2006 for the Leadership Track positions. The Special Agent in Charge positions will be advertised under a separate announcement. This will establish a standing roster of currently qualified candidates for our current non-SES key leadership position vacancies.
All BLM employees competitively selected for key supervisory and leadership positions will be chosen from successful graduates of the Leadership Excellence Programs or will have to demonstrate in their application the equivalent experience. Outside applicants must also demonstrate comparable training and experience.
The BLM will encourage all employees to participate in the leadership excellence program (see attachment 2) under the direction of the NTC. The NTC will issue specific guidance on the outcomes and requirements of each segment of the Leadership Excellence Program.
This policy does not affect the yearly training requirements for supervisory and managerial training.
Timeframe: Effective immediately
Background: TheBLM, like many other agencies and organizations, is concerned with maintaining organizational effectiveness as it faces a wave of retirements throughout its workforce, including key leadership ranks. The BLM Field Committee Report was developed to examine these workforce issues and to recommend a plan of action to address BLM’s succession needs for key leadership positions. The Report focuses on 12 key leadership positions located in the Washington Office, State Offices, Centers, and Field Offices encompassing approximately 260 plus incumbents of which more than 140 will reach retirement eligibility on or before the year 2009. These key leadership positions are defined above. All positions covered are currently classified as GS-14 or GS-15.
The recommendations in this Report were developed using numerous data sources, including existing data in BLM’s workforce plan, analysis of the potential leadership recruitment pool and BLM’s existing Leadership Excellence tools and programs hosted at the NTC. Information was collected with three survey tools in an attempt to define BLM’s leadership needs at each level of the organization. These surveys collected data from existing key leaders, Leadership Academy graduates and a sample of GS-7 through GS-13 personnel in BLM’s workforce. The recommendations also relied on leadership succession planning best management practices identified in studies and research conducted for other government agencies and private organizations.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: MS-1400-335, Promotion and Internal Placement; MS-1203, Delegation of Authority
Budget Impacts: The BLM organizations must commit training dollars to the development of supervisors, managers and leaders.
Coordination: This Instruction Memorandum has been coordinated with the ELT, Field Committee, WO-700, and NTC.
Contact: Questions may be referred to Marilyn H. Johnson, Chief Human Capital Management Project Director, 202-501-6723.