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Succession Planning Done Right

March 13, 2014, Jan Sysmans -

The Stanford Business School together with The Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and The Institute of Executive Development (IED) recently published the findings of their 2014 survey on Senior Executive Succession Planning and Talent Development.

The key findings of the study include:

  • Companies do not know who is next in line to fill senior executive positions;
  • Companies do not have an actionable process in place to select senior executives;
  • Companies plan for succession to "reduce risk" rather than to "find the best successors";
  • Roles in the succession planning process are not well defined;
  • Succession plans are not connected with coaching and internal talent development programs;

These findings are in line with a 2013 study done by Robert Half which found that more than half of UK Finance Directors did not have a succession plan in place, a finding that prompted the Financial Times to warn that "a lack of succession plan is bad for business".

The Financial Times is not alone in raising awareness on this issue. After surveying their customers, EY concluded that businesses might be at the brink of a leadership crisis due to the lack of robust succession plans.

What strikes me is that these studies focus just on succession planning at the executive level. If there is a lack of good planning at this level, I wonder what the state of Company wide succession planning must look like. Why is it that succession planning is not done right? Is it because traditional succession planning tools:

  • Are hard to use?
  • Are not user friendly?
  • Are used by only a few people for tracking and modeling purposes?
  • Are silo'ed solutions that don’t integrate well with other talent management solutions?
  • Don’t let you create personalized development plans?
  • Don’t tap into your employee Social ecosystem?

Saba’s Succession@Work is unlike traditional succession planning solutions, it

  • Is an integrated part of our Unified Talent Management Suite;
  • Is not simply a back-end HR solution meant for tracking and modeling succession plans;
  • Is an engaging solution that allows everybody in the organization to identify your rock stars and nominate successors for them;
  • Is an intelligent solution that recommends a bench for your high performers;
  • Gives you a comprehensive insight into the potential of your people;
  • Lets you create personalized development plans to prepare your people to become the future leaders of your organization;
  • Empowers your people to map their personal career development plan;

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If you are looking to shore up the succession plans for your organization, contact us today.

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