Category: Succession Planning

Succession Planning – Part II

April 7th, 2015 by Mary Kay Hyde-Bohn

Succession Planning – Part II

Succession planning for your staff (leadership or team leaders) is a part of over-all strategy that gets included in the business plan and budget for the year &/or the 3 to 5 year plan (a longer time frame gives you perspective vs. reaction). You might consider this a jig-saw puzzle trying to fit all the pieces together; however it might be more helpful to consider this exercise lining up dominoes – if you move one player out of sequence it will have a cascading effect without immediate replacement of a similar player. You want to prevent disruption in operations, internal morale or external relationships by having a plan or a structure in place and known.
As you go through the process you should include key staff in the discussion including the specific department to be discussed and the department (HR?) that will update (or create) job descriptions and finance that will need to consider the salary and training budgets.
The questions to ask yourself or the leadership team as you build your strategy are:

  • What skills are needed in Position A? Position B? Position C, etc.
    • Is that skills list documented in any job description?
    • Has the skills list been updated in the past year?
    • Has the skills list been validated by person doing the job now?
    • Have the skills list been validated by internal staff?
  • Who has those (or most) of those skills now?
    • Are they a good cultural fit for the leadership team (or team leader)?
    • What additional skills do they bring to the position?
    • Who would fill their current slot?
    • Filling the skills gap is part of your staff development budget & schedule
  • Who can be backup or vacation coverage for Position A?
    • HINT: this is a great time to access a potential candidate with marginal risk to the company or either employee and to do a bit of cross-over or transitional training. It gives the potential candidate an opportunity to shadow the current position holder performing the job to see if it might be of interest or a good fit. There will be time to say ‘no’ at any point during the exercise; again with minimal disruption or risk to the company or the employees.
    • What information does the backup need to know?
    • Where is that information documented?
    • Who has access to the documentation now?
  • Who would like to be in Position A?
    • What are their current skills?
    • Are they a good cultural fit for the leadership team?
    • What additional skills do they bring to the position?
    • Who would fill their current slot?

Succession Planning – Part I

April 3rd, 2015 by Mary Kay Hyde-Bohn

What is Succession Planning – Part I

Succession planning is not just a term for ‘end of life’ planning.

It’s the planning of moving your employees through team leadership, management and into organizational leadership.

Let’s tackle the ‘end of life planning’, or rather the ‘end of the organizational relationship’ planning first. You or someone from your key leadership may leave – its life!

What to do and how to do the transition will be important to the stability inside the organization and to the public.

  • Determine who the key owner/partners are – typically they have a partnership agreement – then ask them to get a current will written and to include mention of the organization.
  • Have organization lawyer update the partnership agreements to include mention of will by name of individual (and lawyer’s name).
  • Partnership agreement should also include mention of divorce, buyout, abandonment or going to work for a competitor.
  • Everyone should have a backup that is cross-trained to handle daily tasks until the position is filled.
  • Have Communication or Marketing team draft statements to have ready for several situations.
  • Have the same team make a list of who to communicate this change and which media to use.
  • The HR team should have a list of tasks that need to be done from records to email or social media accounts.

Stay tuned for Part II …