It is applaudable that many organisations continue to prefer to promote from within, this practice means that management development is even more important today than it has ever been.
There will always be many benefits of an internal promotion strategy when looking for managers of the future; knowledge of the business operations, culture, and practices to name just a few. With this strategy comes one danger, the assumption that the “manager to be” will be able to manage well, on the grounds that they were a great operator. It is often because the individual has such good knowledge and skills of the business that accepting and responding to the need for management development can be overlooked.
Managing requires a totally different skill set to “doing”. Of course, some people have natural talents and can apply these to managing others, but for most, without a development plan, you could be setting yourself (and them) up for a nasty fall. If you fail to recognise the needs at the start, resolution and recovery can be slow, painful, and costly for all concerned.
As an advocate (and beneficiary) of internal promotion strategies, the last thing I would want to see is organisations not promoting from within because they have had their fingers burnt in the past. The strategy is a good one but must be supported by a robust management development plan, ensuring not only that everyone reaps the benefits, but also this is achieved in the fastest possible timeframe.