Succession Planning – Is It Complicated?
Any business of any size needs a succession plan. In fact, some say, a small business needs a Succession Plan in mind and on paper before it opens its doors.
Any Succession Plan involves personalities, promises, and premonition. And, that sometimes makes it difficult. But, the question remains, “Is it complicated?”
A Succession Plan is the formal process businesses use to assure the orderly and planned transfer of function, power, and accountability when executives or managers leave the company because of death, retirement, resignation, or other means.
Businesses succeed best when they have the right people in the right place. They have the talents needed for the company to meets its long and short-term strategic goals. So, planning for that continuity is vital.
In the words of Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, writing for Free Management Library, “demographic trends indicate that there are not sufficient numbers of next-generation leaders to replace retiring baby-boomers in organizations. Thus, succession management is an increasingly important priority.”
Succession Planning Process
What can go wrong?
Writing for Forbes, Stephen A. Miles warns of some common mistakes in succession planning.
A Succession Plan aims to avoid the “sink and swim” approach to promotions and replacements. No one wins when someone is thrown in the frying pan to cook off the rough edges.
Ownership, leadership, and employees need to know how to succeed to a position. It’s in everyone’s interest that the processes, methods, and tools are established and clear. Employees appreciate knowing where they can be and how to get there.
So, the plan needs more than the sequence of steps. It must recognize the organization as an organism with ebbs and flows. And, it must provide the means to navigate the system.
Succession planning can be complicated if you let it be. There are templates, and principles you can follow. But, the real work lies in figuring out what you want and, to some extent, when you want it. Without a Success Plan, a business lacks some backbone and puts it and its stakeholders in jeopardy. In fact, planning succession is a great place to start planning the business.
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