If your leaders decided to call it quits tomorrow, would your organization survive? Would the company have a clear strategy for replacing those leaders while maintaining the day-to-day operations that keep the company moving forward?
Developing a leadership succession plan provides your business the rare opportunity to be proactive in the event of a change in leadership, rather than reactive. Reacting to a member of the C-suite leaving could lead to negative ramifications throughout the organization. By not allowing the time necessary to carefully consider the attributes you desire in future leadership and how those impact the company’s outlook, you may make a hiring decision based on the past, not the future.
The importance of being proactive means establishing a leadership succession plan now. Below are some suggestions to move you through the process.
Define the future business.
It’s important to know where you are going as you determine who is best suited to get you there. This is an opportunity to look 10, 20 or 30 years into the future and envision what the company will look like, who you will serve, where your target markets will be, and which industries you’ll serve.
Align with business goals and strategies.
Now, consult your current strategic plan and align your future leaders’ personal and professional traits to help get you there. If the company’s strategic goals call for a drastic shift in service delivery or customer base, you may be looking for leaders outside of your current mold.
Work with your current leadership.
Ask current leaders for their honest take on where the company is headed and what kind of leader, other than themselves, can get them there. Remove pride and ownership, and ask current leaders to identify the talents and qualities needed to move the company forward.
Now that you have a good idea of the type of leaders you are searching for, look internally to identify current employees who meet those expectations. Maybe not now, but with the proper guidance and mentorship opportunities, could your future leaders already be on the payroll?
Engage employees with mentoring initiatives.
Provide a clear path to leadership for your most talented employees. Mentorship programs and other similar initiatives will give dedicated employees a reason to stay with the company long-term and grow into leadership positions.
Stay nimble. Keep adjusting.
Your industry is going to change. Your customers are going to be different. The market for your services is constantly evolving. And so should your leadership succession plan. Review and revise your succession plan on a regular basis to ensure you remain prepared for leadership transitions.
The key to succession planning is identifying individuals with potential to learn and grow with the organization. If you do not have these kinds of individuals on your team, PMC can help. Our recruiters network with individuals at every career level and can recommend those folks who have the base knowledge and critical thinking skills, but perhaps limited experience. Most importantly, we can help you find the individuals who want to grow with an organization long-term.