Ask an HR professional if they've got succession plans in place for their company and nine times out of ten, they'll tell you that it's #376 on the list. I don't think anyone will disagree that succession planning is important, but actually making it a priority in the day-to-day business often doesn't happen. It's a lot like squeezing in a visit to the gym when you're a working parent. Sometimes there's only so much time in the day.
That's why it really struck me as I read Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry how the company's missteps were just as often related to talent management issues as they were to technology strategy decisions. To dig into this a little deeper, I met with Sean Silcoff, co-author of Losing the Signal and senior business reporter with the Globe and Mail newspaper. We had an interesting chat about succession planning at Blackberry and there were several interesting takeaways.
Even when everything is going great, you need to ask "what's next?"
Succession planning is a must for more than just the CEO role
Leadership really does matter
The critical role of succession planning
Readers of Losing the Signal can pluck many lessons from the Blackberry story, but those related to the importance of succession planning are impossible to miss. From their early start-up days when it was hard to attract talent to the heady days of skyrocketing success with co-CEOs at the helm, talent played a key role in both the rise - and fall - of this technology legend.