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Meg Bear

very good point. I think that the act of Succession Planning is important not just for actual succession but also for leadership development. I agree that in the case of "needing a change" looking external will often be the path taken but for building a stronger bench and developing leaders the practice of Succession Planning does provide value to an organization.

Lexy Martin

Good blog.
Doing our CedarCrestone HR Systems survey data analysis this year, I've come across a very interesting set of findings when I look at statistical significance.

Organizations with talent management have higher sales growth than those without. Organizations with competency management continue to show the highest sales growth. The one major TM application where sales growth is lowest is succession planning.

That was so interesting, that I dug deeper and found:
Those that have succession planning focused at top management have the lowest sales growth and those that focus succession planning at "all employees" have the highest.

No succession planning, with application support, at all would be better than just focusing on top management. Focusing on succession management means that organizations have had to deal with competencies and have truly institutionalized the process and the thinking, in my mind.
We'll present these findings at HR Technology next month. www.HRTechnologyConference.com

Sean Conrad

If done well, succession planning is well worth the effort. But as you said, it can’t be effective if you’re just identifying candidates to replace an individual. To be successful, organizations need to take a step back and identify the key skills they need, across the organization, to execute on their strategic plan today, and over the next three to five years. The succession plan should then focus on assessing and developing those key skills in the company’s high performers.

Succession planning is only successful when an organization proactively develops employees to fill important roles in the future. Developing employees to fill key roles not only builds bench strength for the organization, but it provides value to high performers, making it more likely that you can retain them. That’s what talent pools are all about - or at least should be. For more info on talent pools, I’d recommend checking out the book Effective Succession Planning by William J. Rothwell.

Michael Brandt

Jim,

I think the whole way companies look at succession planning is turning. With technology making the process much easier, companies are looking at a much broader application with developmental planning against every employee. One of our customers Lion Nathan has built an amazing culture around how they do developmental/succession planning against future potential with every employee all the way to the guy who does deliveries. The employee value proposition for Lion Nathan is way up there. Have a read around the web for Bob Barbour of Lion Nathan in Australia. Great history around what they have done over the past 8 years that they have gone online with HCM.

Mike Brandt
Softscape

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