Are You Prepared for Succession?

This topic has come up with clients several times in the past few weeks. For example, one executive who is preparing for retirement wants to hire someone to manage operational issues in the company. He hadn’t thought of this as succession, but that’s exactly what it is.

When you hire for succession, you’re not just thinking about hiring a competent person to fill a position. You’re considering a longer-term leader for key positions in your company or department.

Whether you’re running a division of a corporation or building a small business, succession strategies are integral for your future success.

One of the challenges with the subject of succession is that it is important, but usually not urgent. As a result, too many leaders fall into the trap of dealing with succession when a crisis hits instead of really thinking it through in advance.

What happens if a person in a key position abruptly resigns? Or suffers a long-term illness or even death? What if the knowledge about the position isn’t clearly documented?

Planning for succession doesn’t threaten any leader’s current roles. On the contrary, it gives you time to develop additional bench strength that will likely provide a boost to your business today.

As a bonus, if that person already works in your organization you can mentor your successor. This will provide operational as well as cultural continuity. It also gives the successor a chance to develop areas of skill that may be undeveloped at this time.

Header image by Karolina Grabowska/Pexels.

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