Friday, October 11, 2013

Succession planning

As leaders of our teams it's important we plan for the future. Part of this planning needs to be about who takes over the important aspects of our business. While we set the strategic direction we want to take we must carefully look within our teams and outside as to position the next generation of leaders.

Succession planning is all about identifying the right personnel, grooming them and then setting up the framework for their elevation into these positions.

So where to start, this is best done by identifying the crucial roles and attitudes necessary to be successful in the target job. Write each of these down in a matrix and classify each with a priority. Now we know what we need in the future person to hold this role.

Next let's take a good look at your current workforce as there is a reasonable chance you will already have someone who has many of these skills and attributes. Next create another matrix similar to the first one and place each prospective candidate and rate them against each of your criteria you found in the first matrix. This will help you to identify any areas where you need to discount them or opportunities for additional training or mentoring to fill the gaps.

Ideally you will have identified and developed at least two people who would be suitable for the position. This will give you some flexibility should situations change.

Now it's time to test them out! Next time you're on leave or out of the office for an extended period, put them into the position and give them control. Let other groups you interface know that there is someone filling on for you during this period.

Once you come back take some time out with the person and gain their feedback on how they saw things pan out. Don't be too critical if those go wrong take it as an opportunity to mentor them in to a better outcome. Also take time out to gain feedback from team members and upper management on how they went. This may give you some insights on how ready they are to take the next step.

As today's leaders it's important we look for ways to ensure we have succession plans in place for all our critical roles, as this will strengthen our business and have a robust mechanism in place for the future.

Have to tackled succession planning in your business, how did it go?

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