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Autumn's Succession Plan: Winter!

Oct 05, 2018
By: Julia A. Johnson, Deron J. Kling
Financial Institutions

Fall is a time of transition. Leaves are falling, winter is coming, and we begin to think about our goals for 2019. As we interacted with our clients throughout the year, we were part of a good many conversations around transition. In reflecting on the past year, there are three themes that we want to share with you to help with your transitions: strategic planning, succession planning, and the impact of your organizational culture on both.

Strategic Planning: Thinking strategically and planning to achieve your goals are keys to navigating transition. A failure to plan for change does not slow or even delay change; it is inevitable. In working with our clients over the past several months, we have noticed the underlying theme of strategic planning has predominantly surrounded people—the people that will be needed to execute the strategic plan, the people that will be needed in the future, and the people that will be available to be a part of the team given the changing workforce demographics.

Succession Planning: Succession planning was a constant theme during the course of many of our interactions. “Who do we have? Who will we need? Who will we develop and how? Interestingly, many only think of succession for the leadership positions that will be vacated as Baby Boomers head off into retirement. However, succession planning extends far beyond leadership—at least it should—and into the next layers of the organization. This is essential to ensure a deep and continuous supply of talent and to grow those future leaders. Succession planning should also extend to the Board of Directors, and this is often overlooked. In addition, with succession comes leadership and team development. Never take your eye off that critical element of talent management!

Culture: Culture matters. Yes, it can be perceived as soft, squishy, and touchy-feely types of things—at least to those who don’t understand culture. Those unspoken norms and expected behaviors can support and enhance your strategic efforts or they can sabotage those efforts. Culture also impacts innovation, productivity, customer service, retention, engagement, turnover, and any number of other business metrics. We can’t emphasis this enough: Culture Matters! The culture of your organization will have an impact on achieving your strategic planning and succession planning goals whether you want it to or not.

Our thoughts on how to navigate strategy, succession, and the impact of culture? Be Proactive. Be Intentional. Be People Focused. Eventually the leaves will fall, winter will come, and you will need to address these topics for your organization.

If we can be of assistance, give us a call! We enjoy helping you plan for your tomorrows.


Julia A. Johnson
Director, Organizational Performance
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Deron J. Kling
Senior Manager
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