How to... Succession plan
The BL Global article, “How to... Succession plan," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Kerynne Metherell. The article is excerpted below.
What is it? “Succession planning focuses on identifying and growing talent to fill leadership and business-critical positions in the future,” says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). “There’s no one model for succession planning as its focus is likely to be quite different in small and large organisations, although it can be equally vital in both.”
Be proactive The clue’s in the name – planning. Don’t wait until one of your key players walks out of the door before considering who’ll replace them. Kerynne Metherell, a consultant at executive search firm Russell Reynolds, says: “It’s never too early to start succession planning – it should be an ongoing process. This ensures the organisation is prepared for any eventuality and maximises chances for internal candidates.”
Cast the net wide Don’t automatically assume the second-in-command is the right person to step up. “Get alignment from all key stakeholders on the leadership and experiential criteria you’re looking for” says Metherell. “Strategic CEO succession planning is about creating options. And if you’ve started the process early enough, the lens can be kept broad and include tracking external candidates, hiring potential ‘step-up’ candidates into apprentice-type roles, non-executive board members, development of internal candidates and even M&A activity to acquire in key talent.”
Create a development programme Internal candidates on the succession plan should be properly developed, says Metherell. “Depending on the time frame, we suggest clear programmes that identify gaps and develop the necessary skills, experience, knowledge and competencies. If the most likely candidate is external, that person can be tracked or put into a development, stepping stone or interim role.”
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