Rethinking Succession Planning

April 22, 2013
talent development for succession planning

Changing Market Conditions Proactive Succession Planning = Organizational Success

When it comes to determining your short- and long-term business strategy, succession planning is critical to your organizational success. Productive succession plans help organizations avoid talent shortages, retain top talent, increase employee engagement, and assist employees in transitioning into new internal roles.

At heart, succession planning is an ongoing collaborative process between an organization and its leadership, built on a conversation centered around three questions: Where is your organization now? Where you would like it to be in five years? And how do you close the gap between the two?

Bring Your Vision into Reality

Be proactive in determining what you need from your organization’s succession plan. In order to increase your ROI, you must align your leadership with your organizational goals. Start the process by asking questions, such as:

  • Who should be involved in planning?
  • What kinds of roles do you have now?
  • What kinds of roles do you want to have in five years?
  • What kind of ROI do you want to achieve?
  • Who do you currently have in your talent pool?
  • What skills will your organization need in five years?
  • How will you close the gap between what you have and what you need?
  • How will you plan for program sustainability, structure, definition, assessment, and measurement?

Succession Planning within the Career Continuum

Consider the goals you want to achieve with succession planning. Can you achieve them by simply tracking and managing your talent? Is your problem really as simple as determining how to position and promote your employees?

For most, the answer is probably “no.” If you want a succession plan with high ROI, the key is making your succession plan part of your talent development strategy. There is only so much any HR tool can do for broad organizational needs.

Remember: the greater the investment, the greater the return.

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