There are many factors to consider when considering whether or not your company has a high degree of managerial mobility. Some of these considerations include costs, risks, and a potential conflict of interest. However, while it is true that some of these disadvantages exist, there are other more positive benefits to having a high level of mobility.

2. It can be risky

Mobility is a key element of effective leadership development. It can be used in a number of ways, including hiring mid-career managers, assigning individuals to positions of responsibility, and participating in formal training. While high mobility can be a benefit, it can also be a risk. By understanding the benefits and risks of mobility, you can better determine how to best move forward.

One large global professional-services firm has benefited from a mobility program. ProfessionalCo began selling solutions several years ago, and has a strong reputation for quality and depth. The company grew from a small, specialized group into a larger organization with thousands of employees, including engineers, managers, and professionals. In the early 1990s, a management guru urged the firm to rethink its traditional management practices. Instead of relying on a long-term commitment to the same people, the company introduced a new mobility model. This allowed the firm to open up its leadership pipeline to a wide range of talent. At the same time, the firm was able to strengthen its financial incentives for performance.

Similarly, a large global natural-resources firm adopted a mobility program as a means of developing leaders. Several thousand people from the professional-services sector joined the firm, which has a relatively large global market. Although the firm has seen declining sales in some geographies, its industry is still relatively mature. Despite this, the company has been able to maintain its focus on customers by developing strong customer relationships. Likewise, Marriott International, a large lodging firm with operations in 70 countries, uses a high level of internal mobility as a tool for leadership development.

4. It can be disruptive

A high degree of managerial mobility between organisations can be both disadvantageous and disruptive. While this is not a universal problem, it’s important to understand its potential and how it may affect your business.

When disruption strikes, companies are forced to respond in a defensive fashion. They can be hampered by a lack of clarity about their position in the market and their ability to take advantage of new opportunities. However, this challenge is less prevalent than it once was. The key is to harness the forces driving change and to respond with a level of urgency that enables success.

If you’re a leader, it’s critical to understand how disruptors can affect you and your organization. This can help you develop strategies for leveraging opportunities. For example, one of the most recognizable examples of a successful response to disruption is Apple’s creation of an ecosystem that drives product adoption and customer loyalty.

Disruptive forces may also affect the price-value equation of customers. In fact, some people might not have adopted their smartphone from a computer company because of the company’s brand name. As a result, this can be a major competitive advantage for a disruptive entrant.

One solution is to aggressively pursue new edge opportunities. These opportunities will create strong pulls for your core business. That may mean that your business has the opportunity to scale quickly. But it also means that another entrant could develop a similar opportunity.

To avoid these risks, you should build a leadership bench that includes midcareer managers. You can also develop diverse skills through formal training. Additionally, you can move your employees across locations to expose them to new environments and different business segments.

Chelsea Glover