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Strong Succession Plans Are Living Documents

They should focus on strategy, competencies and vision

Jobs growth and unemployment rates continue to hold fairly steady in the U.S., spurring ongoing conversation about a tight market for talent. Many of the CEOs and senior executives I’ve spoken to recently worry about securing a ready supply of the right talent to support their business objectives.

At the same time, I’ve been startled by how few CEOs have solid succession plans in place for their organizations. In fact, the mere suggestion of the need to plan for the departure or change of key staff seemed to make them uncomfortable. It’s as if planning for departure is somehow inviting turnover or perhaps, being disloyal to staff.

“Succession” has become a dirty word.
Succession plans are triggered when something happens with a person or in the business. That may be what makes it uncomfortable to discuss: few enjoy that kind of surprise. Yet, a good succession plan mitigates the impact of those events. Done well, succession plans also inform staff development and support overall talent management.  So how do you ensure succession planning is not a dirty word for your team?

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