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Passing the Baton: Succession Planning for the Next Generation of Leaders

Posted on Apr 2, 2024 10:53:33 AM | By Michiale Schneider, Attigo Senior Trainer, B.Ed., M.Ed. AFC®

Planning for the departure of a beloved employee is difficult enough, but what if there’s no one in your pipeline to step into their role? Retirements, job transitions, and even death can create unexpected voids. That’s why succession planning is so important.

Preparing for the Future

Succession planning is a focused process for keeping talent in the pipeline (Source: shrm.org). It’s a way to identify and prepare individuals within an organization to replace leaders when they leave or retire, ensuring continuity, stability, and sustainability.

How Does Succession Planning Work?

The primary role of succession planning is mitigating the risks associated with sudden position changes, especially for leadership positions and roles that require specialized knowledge. According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, 40% of executives believe that their companies are not prepared for key position changes (Source: mckinsey.com). Succession planning addresses this concern by identifying and preparing internal talent and reducing the impact of unanticipated changes.

  • Secondly, succession planning promotes employee engagement and retention. When your staff sees opportunities for career advancement, they’re more likely to remain committed and motivated.
  • Succession planning also contributes to seamless leadership transitions, thereby minimizing disruptions. It enables you to identify potential skill gaps and provide training to develop your leaders who possess the competencies required for success.
  • Furthermore, succession planning promotes a culture of continuous learning and development. By identifying and nurturing future leaders, you emphasize the value of ongoing training and leadership readiness.

Dr. Lepora Flournoy, a certified expert in coaching, human resources, process improvement, change management and project management, says, “We’ve been talking about succession planning for years, but all of a sudden it’s not just important to HR; now it’s also important to the CEOs and the senior leaders, which is great news for us…” (Source: youtube.com/@drlepora1).

Succession planning is instrumental in ensuring resilience, employee engagement, and continuity. It’s a fluid process requiring ongoing evaluation and adjustments to meet changing needs. By investing in the development of your team, you foster a culture of persistent growth and competitiveness in an ever-changing world. It’s not about filling a vacancy but rather focusing on the organization’s long-term success.

Ready to learn more about instituting succession planning with your staff? Join our Building a Strong Succession Plan SmartSessions training April 30 as we share ways to create a robust succession plan that contributes to long-term success and sustainability.

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