A Three-Part Guide on How to Properly Create a Succession Plan
Now that the research, interviews, and data gathering is complete, it’s time to create a presentation worthy of submitting to the Board and C-Suite.
K.I.S.S. – Keep it Short and Sweet
Board members and C-Suite leadership’s time is limited and valuable, so it’s important to create a presentation that’s short, sweet, and to the point. Review your data and findings well, making sure you focus on the positions you feel need to be slotted for succession planning along with the candidates you believe are the top choices for each. While other candidates’ profiles will be included in the report, don’t spend time discussing these in the presentation. Highlight those who are your top choices and support your proposition. The Board and C-Suite leaders will have the other candidates’ information in the full report you supply so they can peruse it at their leisure should they desire.
The same goes for financial projections and contingency plans. Highlight key points and strategies, but have the full report and complete strategy on hand for your upper leadership to review after the presentation meeting.
Leave Room for Discussion
Another reason to keep your presentation short and sweet is that senior leadership will want to ask questions, seek clarifications, discuss your rationale, and offer up their own suggestions. Not everyone may agree with the Succession Plan that has been presented. It’s a proposal and a collaborative work in progress. This should be expected, but if you create and mount a strong, well organized, deeply thought out and substantiated presentation it should go smoothly.
Make Use of Technology
While for a smaller business it may be feasible to complete all the steps involved in creating a Succession Plan by using paper, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint, for a larger company with more positions that need filling and more potential employees to be considered, using Succession Planning software may be imperative. HR software will help you research, map, and create the actual Succession Plan. There are many programs available, including HRToolbench, Halogen Succession, TalentGuard and others. Using Succession Planning software not only saves time and money, it will help you create an effective, comprehensive, knock-your-socks-off presentation for the Board members and C-Suite leaders.
The creation of a Succession Plan is a large undertaking, but one that is critical in assuring that your company stays healthy, successful, and ongoing in the face of unplanned changes in leadership. These guidelines only scratch the surface. More detailed information about the process of creating a Succession Plan can be found online, in HR books, and through the Succession Planning software mentioned above. Don’t let the scope of the project daunt you – Start today!
Board of Directors