|Across industries and geographies, a real challenge to business leaders is managing workforce constraints: pending retirements, an aging workforce, and lack of experienced talent.
These conditions lead organizations to focus attention on succession planning as a means of ensuring a sufficient supply of high-quality leaders for the future.
While convinced of the importance of succession management, traditional succession planning processes often fail to produce a sufficient supply of talented leaders.
Stratford Succession Planning Framework
To ensure effective successions and a high-quality supply of leadership talent, succession management systems must address these fundamental succession risks:
- Organizations must identify those capabilities that are most critical to business success, prioritizing succession risks accordingly.
- To ensure that successors are prepared to take on leadership roles, organizations must provide development experiences throughout their careers, and encourage crossorganization talent sharing.
- Externally sourced talent can bring much-needed expertise and leadership to organizations, provided that new hires do not fail. To prevent derailment, organizations must plan for both a smooth entry and then take accountability for new hires’ success.
- Succession management efforts are not discrete events but rather part of an integrated system for managing talent in an organization. Base development and succession decisions on the evolving needs of the organization and business, which can overcome possible misalignment between strategic priorities and talent capabilities.
Prioritizing Organization Roles
When entering a succession planning process, look at key roles in the organization from a business planning or execution outlook. Prioritize roles considering:
- The level of specialized skills or knowledge (IP) and value, both externally and internally;
- The amount of impact on business performances, strategy or business process execution;
- The number of external customer touchpoints
Step 1: understand and prioritize the potential risks incumbent departures pose to the business — who is likely to leave the organization, and what business capabilities will they take with them?
Step 2: identify “Best Fit” candidates for positions based on the information contained within Stratford’s Success ProfilesTM, hold a talent review to assess the best fit to the key roles.
Step 3: determine organizational impact of the chain of moves; use a score sheet to capture the number of potential “successors to the successor.” Step 4:
Step 4: monitor of ongoing succession health, looking at key leadership risks requiring multi-year intervention while managers focus on grooming their next successors.
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