According to the Association for Talent Development, just 35% of organizations have a formalized succession planning process already prepared. This isn’t just an inconvenience. It’s a missed opportunity. In fact, here are 6 reasons you should prioritize succession planning in the upcoming year.
Succession planning requires forethought and time, taking into account the impacts on the organization as well as capturing the leaders’ attributes, goals, and skill sets during the transition. Minimizing disruption should be aligned with accelerating benefits to the organization. Often, succession planning can feel threatening to a current leader. You might feel like you’re “planning your own executive funeral.” However, the truth is, you’re not.
Succession planning can feel threatening to a current leader. You might feel like you’re “planning your own executive funeral.” However, the truth is, you’re not.
Succession planning doesn’t happen overnight. Nor is it a plan to be set into motion immediately. It will morph and adjust based on current circumstances and should be initiated when the time is right for existing leadership to step down. Problems arise when there isn’t anything in place and a position suddenly opens up in your C-suite. Don’t let that happen.
The main point of succession planning is to streamline the process of a change of leadership. In other words, when authority transitions between leaders, succession planning helps the process go smoothly.
This requires preparing the new candidate with the right information to handle their new position with aplomb—and this information is most readily available in the incumbent currently in the role. By planning now, you allow future leaders to glean information and learn from those who know the position best.
Learning and development programs and executive coaching aren’t just initiatives for the future. Do they focus on long-term education? Of course. But there are also very tangible benefits in the here and now.
For instance, L&D can have immediate benefits for the workforce as employees learn new skills and feel empowered to think creatively. Executive coaching can also have an impact by fostering greater confidence and management skills, even as it hones developing candidates for responsibilities to come.
DEI is a common initiative for businesses. However, finding tangible ways to put concepts into action can be difficult at times.
Succession planning is an effective way to put momentum behind the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. It allows you to diversify your leadership in the here and now as you prepare your C-suite for the future.
Succession planning is typically an internal affair. Candidates are chosen from the existing workforce based on their skillsets and past performance.
When a business actively singles out promising candidates and begins to prepare them for future advancement, it helps to retain them. Remember, if you think someone is worthy of a leadership role at your organization, chances are others will see that potential, too. Succession planning helps to keep these valuable individuals invested in and contributing to your company.
Remember, if you think someone is worthy of a leadership role at your organization, chances are others will see that potential, too.
As leaders get older, they can fall into ruts. They might be enamored with past formulas for success or even feel a lack of creative vision for their company as they begin thinking of life after their tenure.
Bringing others into the picture through succession planning helps to breathe new life into an organization’s upper echelons. It provides new perspectives, energy, and ideas that can help shape the future of a company, even before a candidate is officially in the leadership position they’re training to fill.
There are many benefits that come with succession planning in a timely manner. Businesses that put thought and investment into upcoming leadership transitions future-proof their C-suite against the unknown.
Businesses that put thought and investment into upcoming leadership transitions future-proof their C-suite against the unknown.
If you’re unsure how to properly plan for succession for your company’s executive leadership, it’s important to find a partner that you can trust. Stanton Chase offers succession planning as part of our Executive Search and Leadership Services. Our trained and experienced executive search partners are uniquely qualified to help boards draw up effective, data-driven succession plans.
Succession planning is a critical part of running a business. It bears fruit both in the present and the future. Don’t leave it on your to-do list. Make time to plan for the future this year. As a team that regularly witnesses the fallout of failing to plan ahead in the area of executive recruitment, trust us. It’s well worth the investment.
Peter Deragon is a Managing Director at Stanton Chase Los Angeles, the Supply Chain Global Functional Leader, and the Capital Markets and Investment Banking Global Subsector Leader. He is also active in the CFO Practice Group and Financial Services, where he started his career. He has 30-plus years of experience as a trusted advisor and manager in B2B environments. In his free time, Peter supports charitable organizations, especially those focused on ocean stewardship.
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