Most organizations talk about succession planning. Many have tried to make it happen. Some have invested enormous resources of time and money. But very few have succeeded . . . largely because they’ve approached it with the wrong set of questions. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org 512-498-9780) to discuss an approach to Succession Planning that makes sense for a change, because it begins with the right questions.
Is Succession Planning an Arid Exercise . . . or a Vital Tool???
Delta Associates would suggest that the proper question to ask is not “Who will take your place in your job?” but “How do we build the next level of senior management in order to give the entire enterprise flexibility and sustainability?”
Many organizations have gone this route: All executives and senior managers get the directive to identify their one, two, or three likeliest successors. Check. And . . . then what? Are those likely successors supposed to wait for you to vacate your box in the org chart? If people know they are in your succession line, what are they supposed to do? Are they supposed to somehow duke it out? Or wait around graciously? What if they don’t? What if the rest of senior management doesn’t think they’re up to the task?
Developing a Leadership Cadre . . . Not an Artificial “Bench”
And what if it just flat doesn’t make business sense to have a bench that deep?
What’s the goal of succession planning, really? Is it a neat spreadsheet with names comfortably, albeit artificially, listed as your “bench”? Check. Or is it the development of a cadre of next-level leaders who are being developed systematically so that they might step into any of several positions of higher responsibility? We would argue it’s the latter.
Delta Associates will work with your senior management to identify an entire cadre of next-level leadership and to develop them—through systematic training and coaching, and through special projects that stretch and test them and give them enterprise-wide impact and experience.
Contact us at 512-498-9780 or email@example.com to discuss succession planning for your organization.