Succession planning

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing new leaders who can replace old leaders when they leave, retire or die. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available. Taken narrowly, “replacement planning” for key roles is the heart of succession planning.

=> In dictatorships, succession planning aims for continuity of leadership, preventing a chaotic power struggle by preventing a power vacuum.
=> In monarchies, succession is usually settled by the order of succession.
=> In business, succession planning entails developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company.

Effective succession or talent-pool management concerns itself with building a series of feeder groups up and down the entire leadership pipeline or progression. In contrast, replacement planning is focused narrowly on identifying specific back-up candidates for given senior management positions. Thought should be given to the retention of key employees, and the consequences that the departure of key employees may have on the business.

Fundamental to the succession-management process is an underlying philosophy that argues that top talent in the corporation must be managed for the greater good of the enterprise. Merck and other companies argue that a “talent mindset” must be part of the leadership culture for these practices to be effective.

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