The Rocket Science of Succession Planning

Rocket Science WEBOn a survey gathering data for a retreat for a client, there were questions about their succession planning program. After receiving a survey back, I would interview each respondent to gather some deeper info as to reasons behind their answers. One person commented: “I really haven’t made any plans to replace myself.” Succession planning is about you, but not ALL about you. Another respondent commented, “I don’t know what we’re going to do when Bernice leaves.” Bernice, not her real name, is the CEO. These team members obviously haven’t a clue as to what it takes to launch the succession planning rocket. Further, they fail to understand the full purpose and impact of a succession planning program.

In addition to a misunderstanding about who to include in a succession planning program, the following items received low to moderate scores:

  • Talent Management
  • Training and Development
  • Accountability
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Career Management
  • Key Performance Indicators in Place

The above items are key components in launching any succession plan. Without these, even if you have a plan, it can’t be a good one. One point is clear though. The statement, “I don’t know what we’re going to do when Bernice leaves.” is a clear signal that a succession plan is non-existent. Without a plan, there may be chaos among those who want the position, or no clear choice among the team, or there may be no one who is ready to move the strategic plan forward. The organization will lose ground, and market share with no one ready to take the helm. This rocket topples over on the launch pad.

Why and How to Build a Career Path Program in Your Organization

Career Plan 210Businesses of all sizes provide some form of perks, benefits, or resources to their employees. The larger the organization, the more benefits, and perks. This is a tougher challenge for the small business owner. However, to compete, they must provide some attractive incentives.  If a company can afford expensive benefits and incentive packages, great. But there are benefits that are budget friendly, such as a career path program. Of course, while the benefit of a career path program is obvious for the employee, this begs the question, what is in building a career path for the company and how do you do it anyway?