Change is rarely easy. Transitions in leadership fall into the change arena and not only is it rarely easy, a CEO transition, whether planned or unexpected, can lead to chaos if not handled with care. If there are extenuating circumstances around the transition, life can become an out of control roller coaster with a broken stop button. As with any other change, there are ways to prepare for eventualities and prevent catastrophes.
Succession Planning: Succession planning plays a large role and this responsibility falls squarely on the shoulder’s of the Board and the current CEO – unless, of course, the current CEO is going to be asked to leave prematurely. The problem is that Boards meet, at the most, monthly. Some organizational Boards meet even more infrequently. Therefore, succession planning should be on the agenda at every Board meeting. Some organizations select a hiring committee to aid in the search as well. An outside adviser or consultant can aid in the process as well. Spending a lot of time on the selection of the next CEO does not guarantee success. There are a lot of companies that make the transition successful spending little time in the effort. However, there are certain elements and processes that help every executive transition flow better.