In a recent Cranfield School of Management study an overwhelming 94% of respondents believed that an external perspective was critical to achieving their organisations’ objectives, increasing innovation and creativity in problem solving. One of several valuable methods of developing an external perspective is through the effective use of secondments.
What kind of secondment you choose will depend on your specific development need. An external perspective might be of a different department within the same organisation, in another organisation in the same sector, or alternatively in a completely different industry.
If you want to convince your organisation that a secondment is the right development opportunity for you, you need to consider what you want to get out of the opportunity and what will be the benefits to your organisation. You will need to consider the timing carefully. If your team are all new, or you have several vacancies to fill, now is probably not the best time. But if you have a team member who will benefit from the opportunity to be stretched covering for you, this could be your moment.
You will need to carefully consider the following: A job description for your secondment, some measurable objectives, a description of the benefits to both the host and your organisation, when you plan to start, for how long and finally, what will happen when you return.
It is not always practical to return to the same job, so it will depend to a large degree on how long you are going to be away and how fast the pace of change is in your current organisation.