Top Five Succession-Planning Steps

Article by:
Lois Melbourne  EO Dallas
Lois Melbourne
EO Dallas

Bring up the subject of succession planning and most HR executives shudder. These highly intelligent, capable people often labor under the impression that succession planning is such a difficult, multi-step process, that they’re already too far behind to even begin.

Sound familiar? While succession planning is vital to your company’s future, it doesn’t have to be your nemesis. With the right plan and tools, it can be accomplished. As I mentioned in my article in the Fort Worth Business Press, you should consider these five succession planning steps to get you started in your business:

  • Identify the critical positions in your company.There are the obvious “C-level” players, but also consider any positions that you’ve filled in the past two years. If you’ve hired anyone during this lackluster economy, it was probably for a critical role.

  • Determine what skills people in those positions need.Doing this can be as simple as identifying the five top talents that a candidate has, and then matching those to a position requiring some or all of those skills.

  • Find and assess potential successors. Even if you don’t have a formal competency model in place, you can jumpstart your initiative by identifying the most obvious candidates. Doing so will help you create a working process.

  • Involve managers and leaders at all levels throughout the company. In my experience, they often know where the hidden talent lies outside the “inner circle,” including the excellent qualifications of an underemployed individual.

  • Commit to developing internal talent and monitoring their progress.It’s more cost effective to promote from within, and I’ve found this often results in better leadership.

Creating a succession plan doesn’t have to bog you down as a business owner. By following these steps, you can concentrate on selecting the right candidates who will provide the best future for your organization.​

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