Organisations in both the private and public sectors need to be able to find people with the right skills to fill key and top leadership jobs when they fall vacant. Succession planning is the best way to manage this process.
The changing face of succession planning
Traditionally, large blue-chip companies ran highly structured, mechanistic, secretive and top-down schemes aimed at identifying internal successors for key posts and planning their career paths to provide the necessary range of experience. These schemes worked reasonably well in a stable environment where structures were fixed and careers were long term.
But with growing uncertainty, increasing speed of change in the business environment, and flatter structures, succession planning of this sort declined in the 1990s. How can you plan ahead for jobs that might not exist next year? One apparent result was that more and more people from outside organisations came to be appointed to top jobs.
A further problem with traditional succession planning was that it failed to take account of non-managerial roles – for example, a brilliant R&D technician who might be crucial to the future management of the organisation and who wanted to stay in an R&D role.
Succession planning in uncertain times
The new succession planning looks quite different from the old version: it has a broader vision, and far closer links to wider talent management practices. Succession planning becomes more, not less, important in an economic downturn.
During uncertain times it is more vital than ever to know where key talent sits within an organisation and how to develop people to meet short-term and longterm business-critical issues.
These worksheets are designed to help you develop your own robust succession plan.