This paper outlines a process that may be utilized by an organization for the purpose of identifying successors to current executive leadership of the organization. The following gives an overview of a comprehensive ongoing succession planning process and the purpose of each stage.
While a full and comprehensive process is described below, some organizations will have already completed certain steps as part of an ongoing leadership development process. Cornerstone Consultants works with organizations that are just beginning to explore this process as well as those who have completed some steps and are eager to strengthen the connections between the components and integrate them with all aspects of their talent management. We design each project based on your needs and work to incorporate existing processes that are familiar to staff and leadership.
Summary of Succession Planning
An ongoing succession planning process consists of the following steps:
• Conduct a Strategic Gap Analysis
- An external and internal assessment of macro trends impacting the organization for the purpose of ensuring the leadership talent needed to achieve goals.
- Define the levels of leadership needed and the positions that are critical to the successful achievement of the organization’s mission.
- Define the specific competencies needed at each level.
- Identify relevant internal candidates and conduct an assessment of each for the selected position.
- To establish an ongoing succession planning process, the organization must develop an annual cycle that includes review of previously identified candidates and identification of new and emerging talent needed to achieve the goals of the organization.
Benefits of an Ongoing Succession Planning Process
There are a number of benefits to be realized from creating a process of developing and selecting internal candidates to advance to positions of senior leadership. Individuals experience the opportunity to develop and grow within the organization rather than having to move to another organization if they wish to continue to progress in their career. The organization will enjoy the benefit of increased employee loyalty by providing additional and advanced promotional opportunities. Today, many organizations experience a loss of critical leadership after substantial investment in the employee’s development due to an opportunity elsewhere for a higher-level position not currently possible at the existing organization. This loss causes the organization to begin again to invest in further internal development and/or experience the substantial expense of external recruitment, integration and indeed additional development of new employees – perhaps only to have the cycle repeat again after a relatively short period of time.
Furthermore, by developing internal capability, the organization is able to enjoy the benefit of senior leadership who understand and embrace the mission and core values of the college and are both able and willing to carry on the values and leadership tradition that has made the organization successful thus far.