Succession Planning

“Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key leadership positions in the company. “

– Wikipedia 2011

Succession planning is both a roadmap and a risk-management tool as you are moving up or moving on.

Succession planning:

  • Builds on the knowledge and skills of your existing staff. They know you, and they know your organization’s stakeholders.
  • Allows you to promote from within, which greatly assists in retaining and recruiting talented employees.
  • Prepares your organization to deal with the unexpected with less trauma.

Strategic planning lets you:

  • Identify what you want to do next – inside or outside your organization.
  • Obtain the skills and knowledge to do your next job.
  • Discuss your career objectives with your management, your board, and your other stakeholders.
  • Move up or move on because management knows you have developed your replacement.

Successful planning lets you:

  • Identify staff who have the greatest potential to replace you, and then:
    • have them shadow you; and
    • give them exposure and opportunities to present at meetings and conferences.
  • Encourage staff to:
    • identify and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to do your job;
    • accept challenging assignments; and
    • be visible to – and gain the confidence of – your management.
  • Create cross-training opportunities by:
    • encouraging staff to learn about your department, your organization, and your industry and
    • challenging them to volunteer to help other departments, serve on task forces, and/or cover for someone who is on vacation or extended leave.

From planning their own futures to helping plan the future for others, people need to have multi-year perspectives. Because this is so difficult, and it is not intuitive, people hire me to coach them.

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“The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
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