Sep 16, 2005

The Art of Succession Planning



One of the great untracked metrics for a great manager is the "bench strength" that he/she develops to take over his/her role.

And its not a very scientific process.

One has to have a nose, eye and ear for grooming talent to take over from your role.

Past performance is never a guarantee for future performance (Wall Street knows this and so should you!) specially when management levels are concerned.

Will the great individual performer become a "as good" people manager?

Will the great people manager make a fruitful transition to a business leader role?

Will the business leader make a good global leader?

One can build in a process around succession planning, but the data that needs to be really analysed is not one that organizational systems capture.

That's because organizational systems capture performance goals that are related to today's role, and not tomorrow's.

Hence the lever for the success of succession lies in the leader who can identify potential in direct reports to rise up to their level. That knowledge comes from really knowing one self, one's direct reports and the organizational culture. As a manager I interacted with told me he looked at the three "I"s if Initiative, Ideas and Influence when looking at candidates for leadership role.

How do you identify your sucessors? And what do you do to ensure that they succeed in that plan?