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ARE YOUR SUCCESSION PLANS IN PLACE TO SECURE BUSINESS CONTINUITY?


"When organizations commit to succession planning, they are building a leadership pipeline that develops high-potential talent, keeping those team members invested and on track for future success with the organization."- Jill Pioter, Former Director of Branding and Associates, Psychological Associates.


According to a study published by global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group, organizations have not given succession planning seriously, which puts them at risk of not maintaining business continuity if key employees leave the organization.

The research also talked about how major organizations did not have a formal knowledge transfer process for many of their employees thus increasing the risk.


Currently, Peru is undergoing massive protests due to the alleged unfair removal of the previous President. The previous President, Pedro Castillo was jailed on charges of allegedly trying to overturn democracy in Peru, and since then the new President has been unable to restore order.

Peru is currently experiencing mass protests which have turned deadly. This shows the importance of succession planning at top levels of government, as it is important to ensure a smooth succession and take people into confidence, otherwise, countries risk becoming another Peru.


A real-life example of where Apple managed the risk:

Tim Cook shared his view on succession planning saying, “I see my role as CEO to prepare as many people as I can to be CEO, and that’s what I’m doing. And then the board makes a decision at that point in time.”


Apple:

1. Steve Jobs already had a succession plan in place before leaving Apple. Apple University established in 2008 already had a curriculum that covered leadership which included content and materials based on various experiences which Jobs had while doing various jobs.

2. The objective here was to input Steve Jobs’s way of thinking into employees’ thought processes and make them take decisions which generally Steve Jobs would.


A digital curriculum is an excellent option for companies to examine in order to prepare their employees for succession planning.

Read more here.


So, it is critical to have a smooth succession plan in order to ensure Organizational Resilience and Business Continuity.


SUCCESSION PLANNING AND PETER PRINCIPLE

“The goal of this process is not to make the current management replaceable, but to secure the continuity and continued growth and success of an organization.”-Ed Krow, Talent Transformation expert


People in a hierarchy tend to rise to their level of incompetence is basically the Peter Principle. Organizations will promote people on the basis of their past performance however this will carry on till the individual is no longer competent for this position.


For example:

A Team lead for an application developer team unexpectedly resigns due to personal reasons. The next thing the company does is appoint a senior developer who also is the best performer for the position.


However how good the new developer is, the skills needed for a Team leader will be entirely different from those of a senior developer role. A Team leader will need to motivate his team, communicate with the management about the needs of his team, should have the ability to distribute various tasks and responsibilities, and also have conflict management skills, etc.

It is not that the new Team leader may not have these skills it is just that it will take time for them to develop.


As a result, there is a real possibility that the new Team leader may underperform if he has not been trained adequately for the role of Team leader.


HOW TO AVOID THE PETER PRINCIPLE

“Without the right succession planning put to play in human resources, we build for the future without a future.” – Mmanti Umoh, Education Management Consultant


Some of the steps that can be undertaken to avoid the Peter Principle is

1) Identifying the various key requirements for various roles.

2) Using correct assessment and training tools for proper succession planning.

3) Organizations need to invest in the talent management process.

Read more here.


SUCCESSION PLANNING STEPS

"One of the things we often miss in succession planning is that it should be gradual and thoughtful, with lots of sharing of information and knowledge and perspective, so that it's almost a non-event when it happens."- Anne. M. Mulcachy, American Businesswoman


Assessment phase

Step 1: It is important to identify the next business challenges in the upcoming 4-5 years.

Step 2: Competencies need to be identified, which individuals will need to meet identified business challenges and be successful in their positions.

Step 3: Critical success factors like competencies, skills, and institutional knowledge needs to be focused.


Evaluation phase

Step 4: Employees having a higher potential need to be identified.

Step 5: Competencies need to be identified, which individuals will need to meet identified business challenges and be successful in their positions.


Development phase

Step 6: Knowledge transfer from individuals is essential before they depart the organization.

Step 7: Career development strategies should be targeted to a pool of talented individuals who can step into critical positions in case of a resignation or death.


CONCLUSION

Organizational resilience and Succession plans are invariably interlinked and it is safe to say that no organization can claim to be resilient without a proper succession plan.

Imagine your organization having no succession plans in place and if your CEO suddenly resigns and your organization has not trained anyone to replace the CEO how will your organization ensure Business Continuity?


It is critical for organizations to ensure that they avoid the Peter Principle so that they simply don’t have incompetent people in critical organizational positions. Image source here.


Gorisco has a wide range of experts who are experienced in defining and designing various solutions to help organizations mitigate their risks and resolve their problems.


At Gorisco, our motto is 'Embedding Resilience' and we are committed to making the organizations and their workforce resilient. Reach out to us if you have any queries, clarifications, or need any support on your initiatives.


To read our other blogs, click here. More importantly, let us know if you liked them or not through your comments.


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