Succession planning offers a number of benefits, including these major ones:
- Management Continuity — When a management vacancy occurs, it’s good to know that you have candidates available to capably fill the position quickly and without search costs.
- Talent Attraction and Retention — One of the strongest ways to attract and keep top performers is to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to leadership development and promotion from within.
- Leadership Development — A good succession planning process does more than identify candidates for succession; it drives leadership development throughout your organization in an efficient, effective, and measurable way.
- Effective Governance — Succession planning is a hallmark of well-governed organizations. It shows a high level of management and board capability.
Development of a program is a strategic priority and can be accomplished in less than six months. An effective approach consists of three major components:
- A Leadership Pipeline to identify a common set of leadership competencies for your organization.
- A Succession Planning Process to measure your bench strength and plan for leadership succession.
- An effective Leadership Development Program to actively develop leaders throughout your organization.
Succession planning is most valuable when it is connected to performance management as inputs, and leadership development as outputs. It’s also important to not just look at the leadership roles of today, but to consider how leadership roles will be different in the future. Otherwise, you’ll be grooming talent for obsolete positions.
Additionally, many organizations need to have in place a CEO selection and replacement process providing the Board with a detailed roadmap to follow whenever a CEO vacancy may occur. Such a process includes the steps to follow and defined roles (who does what) thereby reducing the confusion and dely that such a vacancy can cause.