Succession Challenges-Part 2

Organizations come and they go.  The grow and they shrink, but one is for sure, they will always change.  In a recent post I talked about the concept of Succession Planning and introduced the concept from a very macro view.  In our discussion today I’ll talk about one of the first key points to consider, taking stock of what you have on hand as you move ahead.  In future posts I’ll discuss painting the picture of the future design and then finding the gaps between where you are and where you want to go.  For today, let’s talk about finding out where you are.

Organizational succession has many facets.   They include the following:

  • internal talent
  • financial position
  • future goals
  • timing
  • motivation to move ahead

We will spend today talking about how to assess what internal talent you currently have.  This can be a complex issue, but I’ll do my best to simplify this as much as possible.  As you start the succession journey you need to know what resources you have on board and where their talents and strengths lie.  There are many ways to assess this talent and a few I would recommend include the following:

  • skill assessment
  • talent and competency assessment
  • superior, peer and subordinate feedback
  • future goals of the individuals involved

Assessing skills can be done in many ways and this is probably one of the least complex of the items to be done.  Measuring talent and competency is also doable, but there are many ways to gain this information and knowing what you are looking for will help drive the tools you will choose to complete this part of the task.  With our clients we use the TTI assessment system so that we can garner a full view of the individual involved.  The depth to which this can go is quite significant and the picture you will view will be very complete.  Gaining feedback from peers, superiors and subordinates can be done with a 360 assessment tool and we choose to use the CCL Benchmarks system.  I have had the opportunity to use the CCL tools in many instances and have found that the results gained drive individual development plans for both the individual and the organization.  The final component, the individual goals, takes time and involves a series of discussions where it is important to listen and understand just what the individual has an interest in doing as well as understanding what they have the capability to do.  This can be sticky when there is a disconnect between ambition and capability.

Knowing what is available is a key part of the process for succession planning and for putting your succession strategy into motion.

We’ll talk more in the next segment about the fiscal issues that can be faced.  This is not an issue our firm handles directly, but  we do have a number of capable partners who can work in tandem with our firm when the need arises.