Succesion Management | Succession Planning | Psychology & Cognitive Science

Succession planning can be defined as the procedure of identifying potential leaders in an organization to fill important positions in the near

future. It is important for any organizations to find the right people who will fill key positions. Organizations can be extremely selective when it comes to deciding on candidates for strategically significant and key positions with great power and responsibility. Hence, they adopt an elaborate and comprehensive system of selection, vetting, grooming and orientation. It is imperative that strategic positions in any organization are filled with people who have a clear idea of what the organization stands for and who have the organizational aims in mind as they pilot the company.

There is no single model of succession planning since organizations can be vastly different in terms of size and strategy. However, succession planning as a strategic exercise, concerns itself with only a few and significant positions to the depth of two or three levels of management. The modern approach towards succession planning takes into account the needs of the organization and the aspirations and desires of the employees to reach a plan that appeals to all concerned.

Organizations may expect the following from a succession planning exercise:-

- Making the procedure of filling important strategic positions with candidates drawn from a wider pool allowing greater choice. - Ability to decide quickly on the ideal candidate. - Customized grooming and orientation of would-be successors by careful design of their work experiences, skills and abilities by proper training. - Creating a ‘talent pool’ in the organizations.

In the past it was felt that the process of succession planning should be kept confidential. However, modern succession planning procedures are transparent and internal jobs are increasingly advertised.

Some of the activities which come under succession planning are:

- Identification of potential successors - Widening the ‘talent pool’ from which potential successors are drawn by analyzing more people. - Study of the gaps and surpluses which have been discovered by the process of planning.

It also needs to finalize and implement development customized towards the requirement of every individual in the “talent pool”. Most reflect a cyclical series of activities that include these fundamentals: Identify key roles for succession or replacement planning Define the competencies and motivational profile required to undertake those roles Assess people against these criteria . succession planning plays a vital role in guaranteeing that the critical positions are filled by people who have a hands-on experience and feel of the organization who will use their knowledge and experience in tandem with the organization’s long term objectives and strategic goals. Process and Practices Companies devise elaborate models to characterize their succession and development practices. it needs to be linked to other organizational process such as recruitment. The succession planning program needs constant inputs from the employee appraisal and assessment program to give a feed back on the status of the employee’s development. In many companies. It is critical in any organization that the positions at the top are manned by people who are aware of the organizations values. . training etc to be successful. nature and strategy. with much greater focus on managing key experiences that are critical to growing global business leaders. followed by European and Latin American countries.. North American companies tend to be more active in this regard. the emphasis has shifted from planning job assignments to development.with a future orientation Identify pools of talent that could potentially fill and perform highly in key roles Develop employees to be ready for advancement into key roles .primarily through the right set of experiences. A succession planning cannot function in isolation. In this regard. The succession planning must decide on the methods adopted for the cultivation of skills within the organization to meet requirements in the coming years. over the past several years.Feedback on the actual exercise of selection and to verify if the selected individual has acquired the skills and qualities necessary.

development and performance appraisal • Identify what skills the organization will need in 5. but there are many tools and approaches that continue to be used today. There is no widely accepted formula for evaluating the future potential of needs to reflect the company's strategic objective and strategic goals. keep in mind long term strategic goals for the organisation and wider society. Its clear to see that succession planning and development of future leaders does not exist in isolation . formulating a robust operational definition of business intelligence. Research indicates that the most valid practices for assessment are those that involve multiple methods and especially multiple raters [5] "Calibration meetings. It is clear leaders who rely on instinct and gut to make promotion decisions are often not effective. and hold onto uncertainty until the optimum time to make a decision. With organisations facing increasing complexity and uncertainty in their operating environments some suggest a move away from competence based approaches. ranging from personality and cognitive testing to team-based interviewing and simulations and other assessment center methods. Jaques developed a persuasive case for measuring candidates' ability to manage complexity. 10 or 15 years . For any organization to implement an effective succession plan there are a number of key issues that need to be considered: • The succession planning program must have the support and backing of the company's senior level management • Succession planning must be part of an integrated HR process that includes training. spot patterns in complexity. Elliott Jaques and others have argued for the importance of focusing assessments narrowly on critical differentiators of future performance." composed of senior leaders can be quite effective judging a slate of potential senior leaders with the right tools and facilitation. In these and other companies annual reviews are supplemented with an ongoing series of discussions among senior leaders about who is ready to assume larger roles.[6] In a future that is increasingly hard to predict leaders will need to see opportunity in volatility.[4] The Cognitive Process Profile (CPP) psychometric is an example of a tool used in succession planning to measure candidates' ability to manage complexity according to Jaques' definition. Companies struggle to find practices that are effective and practical.PepsiCo. Vacancies are anticipated and slates of names are prepared based on highest potential and readiness for job moves. find creative solutions to problems. IBM and Nike are current examples of the so-called "game planning" approach to succession and talent management. Organization realignments are viewed as critical windows of opportunity to create development moves that will serve the greater good of the enterprise. Assessment is a key practice in effective succession planning.

skills and competencies that will be needed by their replacements • A system for communicating succession planning information to managers must be established • A systematic approach for identifying. experience. such as education. job rotation.• Critical positions must be identified and included in the Company's succession planning program • Identify high-performers that are almost ready to step into those critical positions • Analyze the workforce and identify who will be eligible for retirement within the next five years • Managers need to identify the responsibilities. projects and other challenging assignments • A system for monitoring candidate's development plan progress by senior management should be established • Succession planning must include a system for providing feedback and encouragement to potential successors • Succession planning is basically a "numbers game" that requires good organizational skills and the ability to pay attention to details . skills. appraisals and potential should be reviewed • The training and development requirements of potential successors needs to be determined • The skills of potential successors must be developed through work experiences. nominating and selecting potential successors must be established • Background information on potential successors.

Nevertheless. the organization benefits from a well-trained. Employee Role Within the Process Often. acculturated and motivated employee pipeline with all the advantages of mentorship and lineage. How Does the Succession Process Work? The best way for organizations to engage in a very effective succession planning process is to first develop their long term needs. The organization must then identify superior employees through job performance. some organizations ignore the need and importance of assisting its employees to identify their own career paths. Succession planning ensures consistency with the organization's business. goals and objectives. A clearly stated objective serves as a guide for future action. The succession planning process needs to be considered as part of the company's strategic planning process because it deals with projecting future changes by anticipating management vacancies and then determining how to meet these challenges. It is easier and less costly for organizations to train and promote from their current employees. Advantages of Succession Planning Often many individuals think of succession planning within the family business circles.• Finally. and saves companies the valuable time of recruiting new employees. difficult and costly. Succession planning guarantees that all higher echelon management level positions within the organization would be filled when the need arises. the succession plan must belong "to the organization" and not to the HR department in order to make sure it has the attention it deserves Succession planning is not something a well-run company can ignore because the consequences of not being prepared to replace key personnel will have a major impact on an organization's ability to achieve its goals and strategic targets. often re-enforced through job rotation and additional training. employees themselves must take their own steps to prepare themselves for possible promotion or rotational training from their current roles to a higher role within he organization. Often. Employees promoted from within tend to be highly motivated and are already knowledgeable about the organizations future goals and objectives. .Training and motivating these employees would offer the company a pool of groomed employees to choose from. The truth of the matter is that succession planning is just as relevant to medium sized companies and corporate organizations as well. recruiting from the outside is time consuming. One of its benefits is that through succession planning process.

. many companies are cutting back from recruiting new employees. which directly aids and supports companies in their pursuit of their articulated goals and objectives. There is also the ever-present possibility that prospects groomed for succession will be hired away by other organizations. In this global economy. Succession planning helps create continuity in company leadership and management. This is a very vital issue. The cost reduction offered by succession planning is an important factor to many companies trying to survive the global recession. It's advantages far outweigh it's disadvantages.Disadvantages of Succession planning There are some disadvantages attributed to succession planning despite its advantages. Succession planning decreases the number of pools from which new talent is identified and recruited into management. who thus reap not only the prospect but also all the training and grooming provided by his former employer. What Is the Future for Succession Planning? Many more companies may be moving in the direction of succession planning.

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