How to Improve Your Succession Planning

How to Improve Your Succession Planning

How to Improve Your Succession Planning

Anyone who watched the Autumn International Rugby Fixtures would have seen the positive effects of identifying, developing, and managing top talent  and future potential leaders. As teams struggled with injuries and started to plan for future campaigns, the key to their success often came from their bench strength. The same applies to organizations. Those that fail to plan for the retirement of key personnel will often take years to get back to the levels of success they enjoyed under a certain type of leader.

With hybrid working, Succession Planning is more of a challenge, so it's key for organizations to ensure that their people managers hold regular career conversations as part of their 1:1s and that they collaborate with HR to make sure that Talent Grids and data are up to date.

Organizations are often aware of the need for robust Talent Management and Succession Planning but frequently don’t do enough to prepare for changes in leadership at the CEO and C-suite levels.  Many companies don’t have the right practices in place in order to identify and select the best leaders for the future. Often they will underestimate the amount of time, effort, and money required to plan and manage succession. 

Here are some of the key issues and how to addrees them:

  • Many Organizations are unaware who will fill the Senior Executive Positions:

This is a major concern when the average length of time a CEO stays in post nowadays is just three years.  Having strong, competent leadership is critically important to any organization. Incredibly many companies still do not have a system in place to identify, manage, or assess key talent against the key leadership competencies, behaviours, and values.  Having a stategy for Succession is important.

  • Many Companies do not have a rigorous Selection and Succession Process to fill key Leadership Positions:

This issue can be down to the culture of the organization, if open, honest debate around executive performance does not take place often enough due to a perceived lack of time or trust. This is where external, objective Consultancy support can be highly valuable to assess top talent and feedback results.

  • Companies plan for Succession to reduce risk rather than to find the best Successors:

Often Succession Planning is viewed more in terms of a risk management exercise as opposed to important actions being needed to source the most effective strong candidate who will produce shareholder value.  Aligning all hiring, onboarding, and developmental activities can help to ensure that top talent is attracted and retained.

  • Roles are not defined and often they are not followed:

Succession Planning should involve the Board of Directors, the senior management team, and Human Resources.  However most organizations do not invest in an objective, structured evaluation process, including a detailed and robust 360 Feedback Review, to engage all the key stakeholders

  • Often Succession Plans are not connected with Coaching and internal Talent Development Programmes

Succession Planning and Talent Development should be viewed as part of any overall Leadership Development.  With a structured plan in place, involving regular input and feedback from the Board, as well as direct reports and peers, managed by HR and an external Consultancy, it becomes easier to identify who are the key internal candidates for the C-suite roles.

Natural Talent has worked confidentially with a number of Chairmen, CEOs, and HR in global companies to successfully identify, assess, manage, and develop top talent.   94% of our individual clients have been promoted to senior positions, such as CEO, CTO, CFO, SVP, and Director following our Career and Executive Coaching and Mentoring.  We then continue to support executives in their onboarding for up to 120 days.

‘The 360 Feedback review and Talent Assessments were so comprehensive that the Exec team had nowhere to hide. As a result, with your support, we are confident that we have picked the right new CEO. Thank you!’ Chief People Officer

Stay positive, stay safe.

About Jill Maidment

If you would like to know more about this subject or to book any of the following, please contact me:

Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Career and Transition Coaching, Business Coaching, Resilience Coaching, Life Coaching Retreats

Leadership Training, High Performance Leadership Development, Management Training, Leadership and Management Team Development, Board Facilitation, Coaching Academy

Executive Assessment, 360 Feedback, Face to Face 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning