Succession Planning

Q: I have been tasked with creating a “succession plan” for my organization. Can you give me an idea of what this involves?

Succession planning involves identifying and developing existing staff with the potential to fill key leadership and other roles as they become open. A form of proactive contingency planning, its purpose is to help an employer ensure leadership continuity.

Done properly, succession planning builds an internal talent pool from which departments may draw to fill job vacancies. Given the size of the Baby Boomer generation, these vacancies are increasingly due to retirement, but a succession plan exists to assist with vacancies occasioned by anything. A succession plan is appropriate for companies of all sizes, both for-profit and nonprofit. 

Succession planning provides the following benefits:

  • Ensures key staff have ample advancement and promotional opportunities, which leads to improved retention;
  • Enables senior management (and the Board of Directors, if appropriate) to get to know its key people in greater depth;
  • Ensures leadership and management continuity;
  • Provides validated candidates ready to assume an open position, resulting in more timely fills;
  • Establishes a culture and talent-brand focused on development and internal mobility;
  • Reduces overall talent acquisition costs.

MSEC has experts who can assist you with a succession plan to whatever extent you wish.

These materials are general in nature not to be construed as the rendering of legal or management advice. Send your questions to cgraves@msec.org. Please tell us if you would prefer your identity not be mentioned in our answer.