Richard Ghilarducci Provides Tips for Effective Succession Planning

Richard Ghilarducci

An organization is likely to fall into disorder in the absence of effective leadership. However, people, even the ones in the top leadership roles, do leave an organization at some point. Richard Ghilarducci therefore mentions that all organizations need a proper succession plan in place, to identify key positions in a company and the individuals who are best suited to fill them. Succession plans also tend to outline clear steps for preparing prospective leaders to take on the increased responsibilities.

Richard Ghilarducci lists a few tips for effective succession planning

Succession planning goes a long way in lowering risks associated with leadership transitions. It allows companies to preserve continuity, and protect discerning mission-critical information and objectives. Secession planning largely involves identifying and developing talent that will grow within the ranks of a company. If succession plans are effectively developed and executed, they can help mitigate the risk of a talent gap, and make sure that there are capable employees who can seamlessly step into leadership roles.

Here are a few tips for effective succession planning:

  • Start early: One can never predict when an employee may find a job elsewhere, choose to step down, or retire. Advance preparation is required to mitigate this risk. By taking a proactive approach towards succession planning, one can make sure that their company always has a pipeline of qualified candidates to step into leadership roles. Succession planning, however, cannot be conducted overnight. It takes time to cultivate and nurture talent. After all, one cannot expect an employee to step up if they are not appropriately trained. Starting early would make sure that one has the time needed to equip employees with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a leadership role.
  • Determine the succession employees: One needs to take their time and carefully identify the employees that have what it takes to grow into a management or leadership role. The succession employees should not be determined by a single evaluation. Rather, they must be evaluated over time on the basis of both performance and potential. Regular assessments, check-ins and reviews should be carried out to make sure that the employees are progressing continuously.
  • Be transparent about intentions: Employees should know where they stand. It is vital to let them know if there are not any opportunities for them to progress into a leadership role, or if they may have the possibility of being promoted into a leadership role if they develop their skills further.
  • Encourage professional development:  Succession planning encourages professional development in several ways. This involves identifying high-performing employees, providing coaching and mentorship opportunities, exposing employees to leadership roles and responsibilities, and facilitating long-term career planning. After employees with potential have been identified, customized professional development opportunities, including training programs, job rotations, mentoring relationships, coaching sessions, and special assignments can be implemented.

Richard Ghilarducci points out that succession planning require flexibility. Even if one does develop appropriate systems and processes to serve as guidelines, in reality, no two employees are the same. Hence, for effective succession planning, one needs to be flexible in their approach and tailor the process as per each employee.

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