Succession Planning

A solid succession planning produces:

  • Healthy, open dialogue about talent and succession plans
  • Active use of the system by managers to prepare and find future leaders
  • Readiness to fill open positions
  • Minimal strain on organization; process is relatively easy

Keys to success in doing this include:

Measurement that is rich and solid.

In assessing talent, a variety of components related to potential, current effectiveness, and development needs must be measured.  When done well, organizations build and maintain a powerful database for making decisions and updating succession plans over time.

Systems that are user friendly yet powerful.

Manager need online summaries of their direct reports, ranked from high to low performance.  This display should list all the key information they need to have a discussion with their peers about the performance, potential and readiness of the talent they know the best.

Facilitated discussions that are focused and lively.

This is where the organization breathes life into leadership development.  These discussions must involve leaders at the highest levels of the organization who are engaged in high-energy dialogues about talent and succession plans.

An entire process that is simple.

The process typically requires two months and involves four basic steps:

  • Employees complete self-assessment
  • Managers complete talent assessment of direct reports
  • Managers create succession plans
  • Managers meet to discuss talent assessments and succession plans

Commitment to leader development.

Since succession planning is a dynamic process, a strategy is needed to develop leaders and make them ready for a move up in the organization.


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