By: Shawna Simcik
Top 4 Tips for Succession Planning and How You Can Audit the Process
Succession planning has evolved over the years and continues to be a top priority for most organizations. What is succession planning, you may ask? Someone once said that succession planning is like insurance for the future success of your business. Formerly, it is better identified as the process for recognizing and developing new leaders who can replace or step into key positions when, and if, someone were to retire or exit, even unexpectedly.
Businesses that take the time to identify key managers and leaders based on potential and performance have taken an instrumental step towards future success and filling talent gaps within their companies. However, I would argue that companies still get themselves into trouble if they simply identify successors, but fail to do anything else. The act of putting a plan in place will not solve business talent shortages, or even guarantee future business success. The plan is simply the first step. It’s what you do after you have the identified these important leaders that is key.
The act of planning for vacant positions or succession of key leaders must be paired with development activities. Implementing development activities is where the rubber will hit the road. Here are a few that can take your succession plan to the next level:
- Coaching: honest and direct feedback from a leadership and executive coach will help leaders take their skills – and performance – to the next level. A skilled and experienced executive coach can add significant business skills to a leaders’ arsenal allowing them to lead at the highest level.
- Mentoring Program: increase employee motivation and engagement and shore up the knowledge gap between your senior leaders and other employees by implementing a high-impact mentoring program.
- Stretch Assignments: Unleash the creative energy of your employees by offering them assignments either in or out of their current role that challenges their current ability. Read ICC’s eBook, Stretch Your Employees to discuss ways to maximize this effort.
- Leadership Development Program: ICC’s iLEAD™ Leadership Development Program combines powerful training for modern learners with structured on-the-job application to accelerate leaders’ professional development and deliver better ROI on your business’s development investment.
A proper leadership development program that leverages coaching, mentoring and stretch assignments as well as other key development activities increases your confidence that future successors will be able to step into key positions in times of a sudden leadership exit. I’m not talking about leadership training – but rather continuous learning and development activities that prepare your leaders for managing in an ever-changing, dynamic economy.