Five Succession Planning Steps: Don’t make it harder than it Is!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 6:07PM

Bring up the subject of succession planning and most HR and other executives shudder. These highly intelligent, capable people often labor under the impression that succession planning is such a complicated, multi-step process that they are already too far behind to even begin.

Sound familiar? While succession planning is vital to your company’s future, it doesn’t have to be your nemesis. With the right plan and the right tools it can be accomplished.

As I mentioned in my article in the Fort Worth Business Press, you must consider these five succession planning steps to get you started:

  1. Identify the critical positions in your company. There are the obvious C-level players, but also consider any positions that you’ve filled in the last two years. If you’ve hired anyone during this lackluster economy, it was probably for a critical role.
  2. Determine what skills people in those positions need Doing this can be as basic identifying five top talents that a candidate has, then matching those to a position requiring some or all of those skills.
  3. Find and assess potential successors Even if you don’t have a formal competency model in place, you can jumpstart your initiative by identifying the most obvious candidates. Doing so will help you understand you create a working process.
  4. Involve managers and leaders at all levels throughout the company. They often know where the hidden talent lies outside the “inner circle” or the excellent qualifications of an underemployed individual.
  5. Commit to developing internal talent and monitoring their progress. It’s more cost effective to promote from within and often results in better leadership.

But most of all, take advantage of the tools that are available to help you create and maintain successful succession planning systems. Retire the manual org charts, hand-colored spreadsheets and email round-robin. We created OrgPublisher Premier and Aquire Succession to make the succession planning process more manageable so that you can concentrate on selecting the right candidates who will provide the best future for your organization.

For additional resources on Succession Planning, view our list of featured Succession Planning Resources.