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Succession Planning

Why do so many companies not engage in Succession Planning yet know they should?

I wish I had an answer for you. This past week, I had 5 meetings where this topic came up based on company demographics - specifically relating to the senior team. In each of the 5 meetings, the HR person (1) knew the critical nature of the situation and (2) was running into heavy resistance in pushing initiatives in this area forward.

"I intend to live forever; so far so good!"

(If you read this, it's a great day!) This is a favorite quote from the president of a past client. She is in her late 60's/early 70's (only she knows for sure) and will not think about hiring her successor(s). Is it a problem for today? Is it a problem for tomorrow?

So many resources - and all with the same theme

In doing a literature search, there were clear and consistent subject areas/topics:
  • The first topic is that the vast majority of companies are sadly behind in this area. They have done little if any planning.
  • The second topic is that these same companies that are not doing anything in this area are now realizing that they have to.
  • The third and most important topic is that regardless of the source of the study/information, there are some important themes that need to be followed in order for succession planning to start, have potential impact, and be sustained and successful.
Over the next few entries we will informally compile what we are seeing in the literature and address these themes. Please make sure to send your comments and questions as we address this important and somewhat neglected area.