Solving the succession paradox
In this issue of CFO Insights, we will discuss why succession planning can be an effective part of an organization’s growth strategy and a signature feature of their corporate culture.
While organizations realize that succession planning is an important priority, few manage to execute it well. In fact, a 2014 Deloitte study showed real market frustration with succession planning efforts: While 86 percent of leaders saw leadership succession planning as an “urgent” or “important” priority, only 13 percent believed they did it well.
The problem? A more recent research effort concluded that most companies doing succession planning are often derailed by a host of symptoms that point back to a common culprit—the failure to recognize and address the impact of human behavior on the succession planning process. Few organizations seem to combine a disciplined, data-driven process with a user-friendly, people-centric approach that adequately engages stakeholders. More often than not, companies either avoid succession planning altogether or take a dispassionate, process-oriented approach that minimizes, or even ignores, the very real impact it has on the people involved.
The results of that research suggest that succession planning is most effective when it takes a “centered” approach that focuses on people first while maintaining objectivity and procedural discipline.