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10 areas to consider when implementing your succession management plan

Jan 04, 2023

Most organizations understand the importance of identifying and preparing successors for key positions, but research shows that nearly half are not prepared for the sudden departure of a key leader. So, what should you do to better prepare? 

As the saying goes, failure to plan is a plan to fail. Today, forward-looking organizations are turning toward data-driven succession management, which takes a broader, collaborative view toward nurturing existing and future leaders and is characterized by transparency and insights gleaned through analytics.

While succession planning centers on identifying and grooming select individuals for specific roles, succession management is focused on building a robust leadership map and developing talent benches for key positions.

It’s also characterized by identifying high potential leaders early and engaging them in an ongoing conversation to assess their motivating needs, skills, cultural fit and career interests.

Through an expanded, metric-driven approach toward succession, organizations improve their ability to predict success and prepare for leadership changes down the road.

By combining behavioral assessment data, skill data and company metrics, you can leverage workforce analytics to drive evidence-based succession management.

Here are 10 key areas to consider when implementing a data-driven succession management plan:

  1. Business structure: How is the business structured today? Are there plans to change it in the future?
  2. Business performance: How is the business faring in the global marketplace today? How could a new leader potentially affect business performance?
  3. Owner or majority stockholder investment: What is the business owner’s stake in the next generation of leadership? How will the owner want to be involved in the succession process?
  4. Board or family governance: How is the board set up? What kind of processes and procedures does it already have in place for managing succession?
  5. Board or family dynamics: How is the board organized? Is there a person whose job it is to spearhead succession management?
  6. Strategic planning: What kinds of additional plans are in place for the future? How is the succession planning integrated into this overall forward-looking framework?
  7. Financial planning: How does the next generation of leaders match with the company’s future financial goals?
  8. Leadership continuity: How can the company ensure that the next generation of leaders possesses the same type of leadership skills as its predecessors? Is sharing leadership skills important from one generation to the next?
  9. Successor identification and development: Does the company look internally or externally for the next generation of leaders?
  10. Management synergy: How is the company’s management connected? Is there a general sense of camaraderie? How can that change with the next generation of leaders?

How Wipfli can help

Create a solid succession management strategy with the help of Wipfli consultants and solutions. Lay the groundwork today for the future of your business, your family and your retirement with a succession or transition plan. Reach out today to get started.

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Jennifer Mackin
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