Surviving and Thriving With Succession Planning

By Natanya Rutstein

All too often a robust succession planning strategy is something which is sorely lacking in organisations across the globe. A 2020 Gartner research report reveals that only 50% of the approximately 2,800 leaders surveyed believed they are well-equipped with the right leadership bench strength and stability to lead their organization in the future.

Don’t beat around the bush!

Succession planning is a topic which is often avoided as it is not always comfortable to discuss and can precipitate feelings of job insecurity and uncertainty.  There is also a common misconception that it is a costly and complicated process requiring serious commitment and resources and therefore better suited to larger organisations. Not true! In the event of an unforeseen crisis leading to the absence or loss of key leaders, as is the case with COVID 19, the ability of an organisation to smoothly fill these key positions with competent leaders provides a massive competitive advantage. The organisation is positioned to continue with business operations uninterrupted. This applies to all organisations regardless of their size or the industry within which they operate.

Into the future

According to Gartner one of the biggest risks to a succession management strategy is the tendency to focus on current leadership roles as opposed to looking at evolving business priorities and forecasting the potential future leadership roles and skills that will be required.

The COVID 19 pandemic must serve as a wake-up call to organisations to have an up to date succession plan in place. Who could have guessed that 2020 would see organisations making urgent plans to prepare for the possible reality of losing more than one key leader simultaneously due to the virus? According to Parmi Natesan, CEO of the Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA), organisations must ensure that they have a long-term plan in place for key senior jobs as well as an emergency back-up plan.

The Talent Hub International has extensive experience in helping organisations to design and implement various formats of succession management, namely risk replacement planning and the succession pool approach. Our succession services include:

  • The design of the succession framework
  • Helping to select successors
  • Design the development experiences and learning paths for the different levels and roles
  • Designing information booklets, manuals and presentation for the change management part of the process
  • Monitoring the development of the successors
  • Helping the client with reporting and problem-solving regarding the succession programme

Now is the time to re-examine your current succession and leadership processes to equip your organisation with the right leadership to withstand the next unforeseen crisis. Get in touch with us and let us share our expert knowledge to prepare you for the future.

Natanya Rutstein
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