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  • Writer's pictureBrad Weinbrum

Succession planning to secure your company future

Sudden, unexpected loss is a hard, but real part of life. Such loss on your leadership team with no preparedness plan in place can create a significant gap in your business. Not actively engaging in succession planning leads to higher turnover of “A” players, and too much risk that the “next up” option will be a success- a long shot bet with unnecessary risk.

Simple, effective planning now will go a long way in mitigating impact to your business when such unexpected turnover strikes. As an aside- it is best to not task this to your current leader.

Three simple steps to succession planning:

1. Keep an eye on the future on your industry and business- what are the anticipated changes coming your way? What is the impact on your strategy and structure? It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day of your own operations and lose sight of disruption, changing customer expectations and competitor strategies. Attending industry meetings, associations and networking groups can be highly effective in helping you keep a strategic eye on the future AND connect with talent outside your organization.

2. Invest meaningfully with key talent: Start by making sure you have identified your High Potential employees (a.k.a. “HIPOs”) and create regular separate engagements with them focused on their growth and development. Be sure to regularly discuss active projects, challenges, strategic planning, and outside development programs. Investing your time will help develop these key employees and set the organization up as ideal backfill or promotable candidates to step up when called upon.

3. Strike a balance of tribal vs. outside experience: Small to mid-size organizations do not always have the internal talent or level of employee engagement to promote from within, particularly for substantial roles. A general rule of thumb regardless of organization size is to always include outside experience, be it from a trusted consultant or a reputable industry peer group to ensure you are not “stuck” in tribal thinking. Maintaining active involvement with trusted, experienced professionals outside of your organization can be another effective way to find replacement talent quickly.

Whatever way you choose to search for ideal succession candidates, your top search criteria should always include emotional intelligence, ethics, and a demonstrated ability to “get sh*t done”!

Need help formulating a succession strategy? Call Nivalmi today!


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