Succession Planning is about more than preparing to fill a vacant position or developing future leaders. Done well, Succession Planning insures an organization is prepared for major personnel changes, both planned and unplanned. Along with the confidence and assurance that any emergency or vacancy can be handled without a loss in customer service, productivity or revenue, a well-executed succession plan also acts as a comprehensive leadership development model. Good Succession Planning guarantees a future.
At Professional Growth Systems, Succession Planning encompasses four short phases to develop and implement strategies so that the organization is prepared to successfully fill needed positions at any time.
Phase 1: Needs Assessment
The Needs Assessment provides an awareness of the readiness for succession in two core areas:
- Emergency Response: Does the organization have staff in place who can carry out the critical responsibilities in case of emergency, i.e., the back-up quarterbacks?
- Organizational Readiness: Does the organization have the culture and systems in place to develop in its future leaders the skills necessary to be able to move into critical positions?
Phase 2: Discovery
Discovery zeroes in on specific needs for the organization to develop and maintain a solid succession plan. Through Discovery you will know:
- Needed changes in the organizational culture so that leaders can be developed throughout and emergencies handled without loss in productivity
- Critical functions and/or positions that require a solid back-up plan
- Knowledge silos where key information is held by only one person or position
- Gaps in leadership skills for staff selected to fill leadership roles
- Scarcity of human resources outside the organization to fill critical roles
Phase 3: Design
In the Design Phase the organization develops the strategies to fill the voids identified in Discovery. At the end of Design, you will have in place:
- Bench Development Strategy to always have staff trained and ready to fill emergency vacancies
- Leadership Development Strategy to provide the skills needed for your “bench” to take on leadership roles successfully at any time
- Recruitment Strategy to assure that the organization can easily recruit qualified applicants for hard to fill positions
Phase 4: Implementation
During the Implementation Phase the organization works the plan developed in the Design Phase to have all the pieces solidly in place for on-going, successful Succession Planning.