Randall Beck

Developing a [succession] plan in advance gives you time to react and develop more leaders. Take the CEO position, for example. You might identify three viable candidates, which is a good rule of thumb for filling any key role. But during the succession planning process, you might discover that none of the three candidates you’ve identified are ready for the role. You can then speed up the developmental process for the three high-potential candidates to get them ready in advance. You also might discover that you have a great candidate for a critical role, but if you moved that person into the new role, it would create a hole in another area of the company. Developing a succession plan in advance allows you to learn what the ripple effects might be.

The primary purpose of planning is to give you a chance to see flaws before they affect the company. You’ve got to be honest with yourself regarding the level of talent you have. What is the strength of your leadership pool? What is the bar that you’re aiming for? A proper succession plan allows you to see a lot of things that you wouldn’t see otherwise.

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