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What’s Your Succession Plan?

As a CEO, you know that succession planning is essential, but do you have a plan for when you retire or leave the company? Without a plan, your successor could be left scrambling to fill your shoes. Here are some tips on how to create a successful succession plan.

What is Succession Planning?

Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing individuals who have the potential to fill key leadership roles in an organization. A succession plan ensures a smooth transition of power and responsibility if a leader can no longer fulfill their role.

The Different Types of Succession Planning

There are two main types of succession plans: internal and external. Internal succession planning focuses on developing current leaders to take on new roles within the company. External succession planning, on the other hand, involves recruiting new talent from outside the organization.

How to Develop a Succession Plan

When developing a succession plan, it's essential to consider both long-term and short-term needs. For example, you may want to identify high-potential employees who can be coached to take on a leadership role down the road.

As the CEO of a company, you are responsible for its overall success. But what happens if you become unable or no longer have the desire to lead the company? This is where succession planning comes in. A succession plan is a roadmap for how the company will continue to run smoothly if you are no longer at the helm.

Human Resource Management survey states, "56 percent said their organization didn't have a succession plan in place. Only 21 percent reported having a formal plan, while 24 percent said their organization had an informal plan."

While it may seem challenging, developing a succession plan is essential for ensuring the long-term success of your business.

How to Implement a Succession Plan

Implementing a succession plan can be a complicated process. Deloitte states, "86% of leaders believe succession planning is an "urgent" and "important" priority, yet only 13% believe they do it well."

Once you have a plan in place, it's essential to communicate it to all relevant parties and ensure it is properly implemented. A succession plan is only as good as its execution, so it's vital to consider how you will make sure things go smoothly. 

Here are a few steps to get you started:

Determine who will take over.

This should be someone who shares your vision for the company and can lead it to continued success.

This person should have the necessary skills and experience to lead the company successfully. They should also be someone who you can trust to make decisions in your absence. 

Make sure they are prepared. 

Once you have chosen your successor, start coaching them for their new role. Give them additional responsibilities and provide them with regular feedback.

You'll also need to put together a team of people who can support them in their new role. This team should include individuals with expertise in finance, marketing, sales, and operations.

Put it in writing. 

When you have developed your succession plan, write it down and share it with the Board of Directors or other key stakeholders. This will help ensure that your plan is clearly communicated and carried out smoothly if you can no longer lead the company yourself.

Developing a succession plan may seem daunting, but it is essential.

The Benefits of a Successful Succession Plan

A succession plan is a critical tool for any CEO. By identifying and developing future leaders, you can feel confident that the company will continue to thrive even after your departure.

According to Software Advice, "Over 90% of younger workers (aged 18-to-34) report that working at a company with a clear succession plan would improve their levels of engagement." There are many benefits to having a successful succession plan in place.

First, it helps to ensure continuity of leadership and your legacy. Suppose you, the CEO, are unable to continue to lead the company. In that case, a successor who is already familiar with the company's culture and operations will be able to step in and provide stability.

Second, a succession plan can help to develop a pool of top talent that can be called upon if key employees leave the company. By coaching internal candidates for leadership positions, you can ensure that the company always has a pipeline of talented individuals ready to take on new challenges.

Third, a succession plan can provide peace of mind for you. Knowing that there is a plan to identify and develop future leaders can help you focus on other aspects of running the business without worrying about what will happen if you are no longer able to lead.

For these reasons, all organizations should have a succession plan in place.

In The End

Succession planning is an essential process for any organization, big or small. By developing a succession plan, you can ensure that your company is prepared for anything. First, plan out who will be your next successor, document it, and then share the plan with all parties involved.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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