When it comes to succession planning, a common question I am often asked is what are the key elements of a successful plan? In fact, I wrote about this in detail in my book Uncomplicating Management. Here are my recommendations:
1. Active CEO Involvement: no longer can this be simply a Human Resource plan. More and more CEOs are partnering with HR and actively managing this strategic initiative.
2. Integration with your strategic plan: succession planning cannot operate in a vacuum while strategic plans cannot be achieved without talent.
3. Process to identify essential positions and their critical competencies—not all positions need to be part of the plan.
4. Procedure to identify, promote and select “high potentials”—along with this comes a plan for individual career development.
5. Manner to monitor individuals’ development utilizing coaching, mentoring and appraisals—the essentials of a good performance management plan.
6. Method to identify gaps in succession to determine whether one can build internal strength or whether there will be the need to rapidly recruit from the outside.
7. Regular review of the plan to ensure its effectiveness. Succession planning must be ongoing and not an annual look-see.
Creating a succession plan can be difficult and complex. But, they are essential to have, so begin the process to develop one. Start slowly—but start.
Tell me about your plan. If you don’t have one yet, why not?