You’re doing it wrong if the first time succession planning is mentioned is in response to an employee disagreeing with you.  This is not succession planning, this is threatening and bullying.

You’re doing it wrong if you take challenging, meaningful work away from one employee and directly give it to another including the acknowledgement and profile of that work, and replace it with the work everyone else wants to dump. This is not succession planning.  There is another used-behind-closed-doors-term for this process.

You’re doing it wrong if you allow mentoring to become a disposable process in the name of succession plannng.  If you allow mentoring to become a process whereby once the mentee is trained, you allow and encourage them to discount the mentor and step over them to get the work. This is not succession planning, this is using your people in an atmosphere of unhealthy competition.

You’re doing it wrong if you ignore the emotional dynamics of succession.  While you may have your “A” team planned out in your mind, use your power wisely or the entire team can become disillusioned and disengaged.

While you assess and design your team with business strategy, if succession planning is not done with a trust and respect factor based on merit, the value of your shuffle dance with your dream team may be lost – in the shuffle.

Business strategies change as do key performance indicators and talent needed to move forward. A solid succession plan is necessary to ensure continuity and long term stability.  

So how to do it right?
  1. Have a solid transparent plan and communicate it
  2. Succession planning is a transition process – engage those leaving and  their successors in building and contributing to the plan
  3. Keep the succession plan aligned with business strategy – be accountable
  4. Make a serious commitment to manage the political, emotional and personal dynamics of succession planning
  5. Devote time and resources for development of those who are leaving and the team members you are building up to succeed
  6. Be respectful of the process…..and the people.   It's an important and a potentially rewarding process for all involved if done right.  



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