Best Practices in Implementing Succession Planning

November 5, 2015 4:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

circle-sliceSuccession planning is best described as a consistent set of specific procedures to insure the identification, development, and long-term retention of talented individuals. While this general definition works well, organizations view succession planning in widely varying ways.


For some organizations, it simply means making sure there are replacement candidates for key positions. For others with a more comprehensive perspective, succession planning represents a deliberate and systematic effort to:

  • Ensure continuity in key positions;
  • Retain and develop intellectual and knowledge capital embodied in employees’ talents;
  • Encourage and create career paths for individual advancement;
  • Ensure the stability of “bench strength” for key positions;
  • Provide a strategic approach to improve overall performance of an organization, division, department, and workgroups; and
  • Organize a structured program for the development, replacement, and deployment of key people (top performers and high potentials) to insure a deep talent pipeline.


While the general definition of succession planning is well-established, organizations vary widely in their philosophy, planning and execution. In the most basic sense a successful program should align talent management with an organization’s culture, vision and strategies.

However, other factors such as changing workforce demographics, changing markets and competitors, various stakeholder interests, the life stage and size of the organization, and the level of maturity of the leadership team should be considered too in designing and executing successful succession planning programs.


To access the full article that explores each factor in more detail click on the following link. Best Practices in Implementing Succession Planning



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This post was written by Dr. Stephen C. Schoonover