What is Succession Planning?


Succession planning is a proactive and systematic process where organizations identify those positions considered to be at the core of the organization and then create a strategic plan to fill those positions with qualified and capable employees. Today in this article we have shared What is succession planning and its meaning, and definition, and discussed types with examples.

► What is Succession Planning?

Succession planning is a systematic effort by an organization to ensure leadership successors in key positions. Retain and develop intellectual and knowledge capital for the future, and encourage individual advancement.

Effective Succession planning occurs when an organization adapts specific procedures to ensure the identification, development, and long-term retention of talented individuals.

◉ Succession Planning Meaning

Succession planning simply means cultivating a group of talented employees to assume key management roles.

Definition of Succession Planning

Succession planning can be defined as a purposeful and systematic effort made by a company to ensure leadership continuity. Retain and develop knowledge and intellectual human capital for the future and encourage individual employee growth and career development.

Succession planning is a means of identifying critical managerial positions in an organization starting at manager and supervisor levels and extending up to the highest position in the organization. – William J. Rothwell

► Objectives of Succession Planning

  • Ensure the successor of leadership in critical positions
  • Retaining and developing intellectual capital to support future growth
  • Encourage and motivate talented employees to aspire for advancement
  • Identifying suitable employees for critical positions
  • Leadership development opportunity for all
  • Identifying Successors is the Responsibility of Entire Management
  • Executives are assets of your company
  • Career Development Opportunity

► Importance of Succession Planning

  • Career development of Employees along with talent retention
  • Fulfill the ongoing needs for manpower replacement
  • Facilitate suitable training and development programs
  • Helps in increasing the talent pool
  • Adds value to the strategic plans
  • Create Career Development opportunities available for all employees
  • Motivates employees and improves their morale Value diversity

► Process of Succession Planning

  1. Identify key positions
  2. Assess skills & abilities needed
  3. Identify employees
  4. Develop & train employees
  5. Continue evaluating process

Must Read :What is Career Planning?

► Types of Succession Planning

  1. Strategic Leadership planning
  2. Emergency / interim Succession planning
  3. Departure-defined Succession planning

◉ 1. Strategic Leadership Development

  • Creating a culture of continuous learning, improvement, talent development, and accountability.
  • Aligning talent with strategic vision
  • Pushing leadership up and down

Key Cultural Elements of Strategic Leadership Planning

  • Current strategic plan
  • Performance goals tied to strategic goals
  • Professional development goals
  • Professional development budget
  • Annual evaluations board and staff
  • Shared leadership and delegation

✔ Starts with Strategic Planning

Vision: What are the organization’s strategic goals for the next five years?

Skills: What competencies do you need to get there?

Assess current competencies and identify gaps in skills needed: Performance reviews and Strengths Finder.

Fill in the gaps: Training and Recruiting.

Build the Team for shared leadership: Delegation of duties, Authority, Shared decision-making and Shared accountability.

◉ 2. Emergency Succession Planning

  • Preparing for unplanned events.
  • A risk management best practice
  • Creates a more leaderful agency

Five Steps in ESP

  1. Identify critical executive functions.
  2. Name a backup for each function.
  3. Develop a cross-training plan for backups.
  4. Name who would become an acting executive.
  5. Specify the board’s monitoring and support role for acting ED.

◉ 3. Departure Defined succession plan

  • Attention to the personal and professional issues of the departing executive director.
  • Thoughtful planning and activities to ensure organizational sustainability.
  • A special opportunity for reflection on where you have been. where you want to go, and what it will take to get there.

✔ Five Key Steps in DDSP

  1. Healthy closure with departing executive
  2. Strategic Vision update Strategic Review, Leadership agenda, Candidate profile
  3. Candidate recruitment
  4. Screening and hiring
  5. Launching the new executive

► Advantages of Succession Planning

  • Reduce future uncertainty
  • Provides career development opportunities for existing employees
  • Improves employee commitment
  • Conduct SWOT analysis
  • Aligns staff development with strategic vision
  • Builds leadership capacity of staff
  • Makes the top position more doable
  • Engages and Ensures the confidence of the funders in the management board.

► Examples of Succession Planning

✔ Successor Planning for Apple Company

One thing Steve Jobs did before stepping down as CEO of Apple, was he prepared his succession plan in the form of Apple University. Founded in 2008. Apple University has a leadership curriculum with content and materials based on Steve’s experiences.

The main purpose behind this initiative is to “teach Apple employees how to think like innovator “Steve Jobs” and make decisions that he would make.”

This digital curriculum is a great example of how technology can be used to prepare a company’s succession planning.

Besides Apple University, Steve Jobs was also working hard to prepare Tim Cook to become his successor and hold the position of CEO.

Cook played various different operational roles including manufacturing, distribution, sales, and supply chain management before working directly with Jobs to gain experience in the CEO role.

Steve Jobs wrote in his resignation letter, “As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and select Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.”

Tim Cook shared his views on the leadership development planning of apple, he said, “I see my role as CEO to prepare more people as I can to be CEO, and that’s what I’m doing. And then the board makes a decision at that point in time.”

Apple has seen the importance of having proper succession plan in place to ensure that there are no problems when it comes to leadership in the company.