Succession planning is the process of identifying a pipeline of talent that can assume interim or permanent positions when existing leaders depart. A detailed succession plan will identify development paths for your highest performing executives, outline protocols for retirement and ownership transfer, and mitigate performance risks in the event of unforeseen departures.

Using our extensive experience of leadership assessment, talent mapping and executive search and recruitment, IIC Partners can help develop a comprehensive plan to ensure your talent pipeline is robust, helping drive your company’s success for years to come.

Succession Planning: A Productivity Insurance Policy

Succession planning is crucial to maintaining high productivity standards by preparing for the future and preemptively discussing the “next move” for executive talent. Without a viable succession plan for the senior executive team, companies can almost guarantee self-inflicted distress that will ripple through every level of the organization. Planning ahead will give you the confidence to manage your employees and stakeholders during a leadership transition, and help protect productivity through the entire process.

With the rise of executive mobility, the need for succession planning has never been greater. The average CEO tenure is decreasing and as younger generations join the C-suite, momentum for this trend will continue to grow. A succession plan is a critical tool to help organizations manage, and even thrive, when turnover in the C-Suite can mean multiple CEOs, CFOs or other C level leaders in a decade.

Key Components of Succession Planning

Talent Mapping

Talent Mapping evaluates and follows active and passive talent in local and global candidate markets. This can be an essential aspect of succession planning as you consider the balance between developing internal leaders and hiring external candidates. Keeping track of the the top leaders in your industry can help you define the skills you want your future leaders to possess and build a prequalified talent pool that allows you to act quickly if you decide to conduct an external search during a transition.

Leadership Assessment And Development    

We use leadership assessment tools to evaluate which of your employees possess the highest potential for each executive position. Once succession candidates are identified, we can build a leadership development plan to build upon strengths and fill any gaps. For example, the current COO in line for the CEO position may benefit from the opportunity to build P&L expertise.

This process helps you offer your top talent clear career development paths and mentorship opportunities that will help them to see their future with your organization, a key element in increasing employee retention. Revisiting the plan quarterly offers you a chance to continually update your leadership skill requirements and track executive development progress.

Capture Long-term Vision

Prior to succession planning, many aspects of the long-term vision for the organization have only been shared orally with no written documentation. Visionary ideas around product development or desires to incorporate cutting-edge technologies such as AI can be lost when a leader departs. We prioritize business continuity and document your innovation plans for the future.  

Ownership And Future Involvement of Departing Leaders

Especially relevant to family businesses or founder CEOs, succession planning can outline the involvement current owners will maintain once leaving and what their intended input into the organization’s strategy will be. Some leaders intend to transition to board roles and maintain substantial interest, while others wish to divest interests and have a clean break. Outlining intentions clearly removes confusion and can help mitigate any power struggles during a leadership transition.

Crossover Strategy and Transition Support

We will help you develop a timeline for the leadership handover process and outline how the departing leader should support the successor with strategic advisory and mentorship.

Performance Measurement

Documenting performance standards and processes for the executive positions will ensure that the succession process can be clearly measured and the new leader will know exactly what is expected of them. Lack of clarity and accountability for performance management is the quickest route to failure.

Communication Strategy for Employees, Stakeholders and Customers

Drawing upon extensive experience of managing executive transitions, we will help you define a communication strategy to reassure your employees, stakeholders and customers that your organization is ready for the next stage of your organization’s development.

Family-Owned Businesses

Family businesses have a unique set of challenges that make succession planning critical to the organization’s long-term performance. We understand the unique considerations that go into carefully constructed plans that respect family relations as leadership is passed from generation to generation.

CEO average tenure for family businesses is nearly triple that of publicly traded companies, up to 20-25 years. When applied to succession planning, there is a greater emphasis on long-term commitment and leadership development plans can even span a decade. We understand the deeper commitment offered by, and expected of, family leaders, and incorporate a nuanced approach to guide your family business towards a comprehensive plan.

Partner With Us

If you need to develop a succession plan for your executive or board leadership, get in contact to see how we can work together. We will customize our planning process to the specific requirements and context of your organization to ensure that you are ready for every scenario.

FIND A CONSULTANT

For more information about working with IIC Partners and becoming an IIC Partners member please contact us.