Are You Set for Your Next Batch of Leaders?

Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing potential future leaders or senior managers, as well as individuals to fill other business-critical positions, either in the short- or the long-term. In addition to training and development activities, succession planning programmes typically include the provision of practical, tailored work experience relevant for future senior or key roles.[i]

If your organization has a good succession planning process bursting with high quality prospective leaders, you are in a position that some organizations might envy.  Experts are telling us that talented leaders are hard to come by these days. Competition is keen for high quality employees, especially those with good leadership potential.  If your organization is in a position where it might need to depend on the external labor market for its next generations of leaders, you may want to make sure your organization will be in the running when it comes to competing for quality talent.  Listed below are a few questions to consider as you begin contemplating your positioning.

  1. Do you know what it takes to generate an adequate pool of applicants? Are your applicant screening processes tried and true?  Will all your hiring practices stand up under legal scrutiny?  Is the selection process professional, rigorous, and at the same time applicant friendly?
  1. What does your rewards package look like? Do you know if your total rewards package is competitive in your market or industry?  Do you know what benefits will draw the type of applicant you are seeking?
  1. Is your story compelling? Will the mission, vision, and purpose of your organization capture the hearts and minds of potential employees—especially younger generation employees?  What is company’s branding and reputation in the market and industry?  Will potential employees like the feel of your organization’s culture?  How can you know?
  1. Are there opportunities for advancement? Are there adequate resources dedicated to training and development?  Does your organization have in place individuals available who can coach and mentor new employees and developing leaders?  Is there a career path?
  1. Does your organization provide an environment that encourages creativity, collaboration, innovation, and risk-taking? Are these behaviors rewarded?  Can an employee readily see the linkage between their performance, their rewards, and future opportunities?

If the experts are correct (and I believe they are), organizational leaders need to periodically step back and evaluate their organization’s “appeal factor.”  As the economy continues to become more global in nature and markets and industries continue to crowd up with competitors, an organization’s ability to appeal to quality talent may become its primary competitive advantage.

Want to learn more about succession planning?  Consider the following recommended resources:

Biblical Account of Succession Planning—Moses to Joshua

Read the biblical account of succession planning in Numbers 27:16-23.  Note some of the principles followed by Moses that have merit for today’s workplace:

  • Moses recognized his own temporality and morality (v. 15)
  • Moses sought guidance from God (v. 15)
  • Moses was specific about the talent needs for his successor (vv. 16-17)
  • Joshua was publicly commissioned to gain the support of others (v. 19)
  • Joshua’s acceptance support from other community leaders was necessary (v. 19)
  • Authority was bestowed upon Joshua before Moses’ position was vacant (v. 20)
  • Moses did all that was required of him to aid Joshua’s succession (vv. 22-23)
  • Moses exhibited his full support of the succession plan when laying his hands on Joshua and commissioning him (v. 23)

Succession Planning Roadmap by Workforce

How to Do Succession Planning by Free Management Library

HR Council’s HR Toolkit: Succession Planning

[i] CIPD. (2016). Succession planning: Resource summary. Retrieved from

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