Succession planning: The Executive Continuity

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on April 05, 2011

Succession Planning is the process of identifying internal people who can take the key leadership positions in the organization. As a part of HR Planning, internal people who have shown promise in the past are identified by the senior management and the human resources department. The selected people (or a particular person in most of the cases) are trained by the leader who is about to resign or leave the organization. Succession Planning and Replacement Planning are very similar to each other. Replacement Planning is concerned only in preparing backups for the key people in the organization whereas Succession Planning deals with the continuity of the mindset of the organization along with the replacement.

But Due to the dynamic nature of the business these days both are used interchangeably. Many companies go for external hiring to replace key positions. People who have proved themselves in the market are recruited to produce similar results in hiring organization. Many people argue that succession planning is the way to go as the people who are identified are not only good but also understands the pulse of the organization as they have spent time within the organization. They understand the challenges faced by the business as they have seen it happening. The external candidates might be good but they might not have the same knowledge and perspective which is required to fill in the key position.

Succession Planning

How a firm goes about succession planning?

Most of the companies go for the process outlined below :

1. Identify the positions which are needed to be filled.

2. Analyze and discuss the skill level and job description in detail in comparison with the person already in the key position

3. Identify the people in the organization who fulfill the criteria

4. Analyze their past performance in the organization

5. Formulate a Succession plan

6. Execute it

Many companies have proper assessment centers to aid the process like Succession Planning where these future leaders are assessed, interviewed and groomed. E.g. Infosys has a leadership institute (ILI) which plays that role. Many companies follow various processes and use different tools in order to assess the candidates. Some of the tools used are group interviews, team activities, leadership role plays, case studies, team based interviews etc.

Final steps of succession planning are actually executed by the leader who holds the current position. It involves actual grooming by the current leader. The best example is that of Chandrasekaran being groomed by S Ramadorai to become the CEO of TCS(TATA Consultancy Services).

Succession Planning is a very important aspect for any company who wants their leadership to be well aware about the company and especially the culture of the company.

More and more companies are following the suit with grooming their internal candidates to take over the bigger roles rather than going for an external candidate who might be good but unpredictable.



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