Leadership Succession Planning

5 Reasons You Should Plan For Changes


The sudden replacement of a leader can be pretty unsettling in an organization. According to a CEO Succession Planning Survey by Heidrick & Struggles and Stanford University, nearly half of companies aren’t able to immediately name a successor to their CEO should the need arise. Without a well-defined plan in place, a leader’s departure will result in confusion and a massive risk to an organization’s stability. For succession plans to be truly efficient, create them long before you need them. If your organization has a plan for leadership turnover, you should know that the benefits of succession planning are tremendous. Among the many benefits of having a defined strategy, here are five key reasons to start leadership succession planning as soon as possible.


You Can Survive an Unforeseen Event

Unfortunately, there are numerous ways you can lose one of your organizations’ top leaders. Illness, death, personal problems, or abrupt resignation can result in an unexpected vacancy in one of your most important positions. While it is impossible to plan for disaster, you can stay prepared to respond to such events.

Without a leadership succession plan, you will have a hard time keeping your business running smoothly. But with a leadership succession plan, you will have a strategy in hand for filling and backfilling even the most crucial leadership roles in your organization. In fact, this is what differentiates between whether or not you keep your company afloat during trying times.


You are Forced to Think Long Term

Often, we spend our time focused on weekly meetings and quarterly earnings. It’s not that people don’t believe in long-term planning. Sometimes, it’s difficult to step outside the day-to-date critical operations to devote the time to long term planning.

In such a scenario, leadership succession planning forces you to take the time out of your schedule to think about your organization’s future. Who among your employees do you think is capable of being at a top leadership position? How will you bring them along?

If there is no one you find suitable, can an employee be trained to take on various leadership roles? Are you facing a hiring problem or a leadership development problem?

These questions, along with many others, will often surface during succession planning. Developing the answers will help you with future successions and set a smart course for your company’s future.


It Can Spur Intracompany Communication

As you may know, succession planning is all about laying the groundwork for the future. It is common for companies to solicit feedback from every department when discussing future plans and goals. It helps promote communication between employees and departments while improving the way everyone works together daily.

Human resource professionals can contribute to this initiative, especially if they are credentialed human resource professionals and well versed in leadership succession planning.


It Helps Save Money

If you are unprepared for an unexpected vacancy, you are at the risk of incurring high costs in replacement. You will likely be inefficient in your search and might end up paying a premium to the person you hire. A few experts suggest that improper leadership succession planning is the most significant factor influencing bloated executive pay.

Hiring a qualified person costs money. Even during instances of a zero surprise leadership vacancy, having a documented succession plan in hand for multiple positions will help save costs associated with hiring for a vital leadership role.


It Keeps Your Staff Motivated

Putting a leadership succession plan in place will help you send a positive message to your employees. They will know that you are planning for the future, and more importantly, they will see that your organization focuses on developing staff members for future leadership roles.

By demonstrating your dedication, stability, and internal promotion, you will be able to increase your staff’s confidence in your company and encourage them to put their best foot forward.


Leadership Succession Planning Should Be Part of Every Recruitment Strategy

Successful leadership planning takes both resources and planning, but is vital to the strength and survival of your organization. Don’t wait until it becomes a talent crisis. Begin steps to create a leadership succession plan for your organization today!


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