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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Strategy Behind Succession Planning

Too many think of succession planning as having application only in family-owned businesses or in large enterprises.

In fact, succession planning should be a part of every company’s Strategic Plan - your vision of where the company will be going in the future (with - or most likely, without you.)

Succession planning is a part of the process of preparing for the future of your company. And, while most succession planning focuses on the CEO, virtually every key position and key person in your organization is a candidate for a succession plan.

To effectively implement a succession plan, consider some of the following issues:
  1. What is the long-term direction of your company? Do you have an effective strategic plan guiding your course and direction? Is it documented? Is it available to share?
  2. What are the key areas which require continuity and long-term people development?
  3. Who are the key people you want to develop and nurture for the future?
  4. How does the concept of succession planning fit into your strategies? Are you concentrating your efforts in the areas where the returns will be highest?
  5. What are the career paths that your most talented people should be following? Is each path customized to fit the abilities and talents of the people involved
  6. Should you wait for openings to appear before promoting someone, or should you make opportunities for each person as they grow and mature, so that you can keep them challenged and stimulated, and not lose them to other, possibly faster-moving companies?

BOTTOMLINE: When done with your organization's strategy in mind, succession planning will bring the peace of mind that senior management should have, based on the understanding and expectations of its future leadership.

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