Why succession planning is key to overcoming your three most critical leadership issues

11 Feb 2020

Why succession planning is key to overcoming your three most critical leadership issues

As disruption is challenging existing business models at pace and therefore the ability to sustain market positions and performance, the relevance of leadership succession planning and development is unprecedented.

The truth is, leadership with the required capability, mindset and experience is in short supply.

A new generation of talent is stepping into leadership roles much earlier and with less experience under their belt.

Further, with flattened structures, the leap to a C-Suite or other high-value roles can be formidable and needs active management to provide potential successors with the experience, mindset and capability, to be agile and ready for the big move.

An active approach to succession planning and development is critical to business success and allows new generations of talent to emerge and be set-up for success.

Recent research by Deloitte noted: while 86% of leaders believe leadership succession planning is an ‘urgent’ or ‘important’ priority, only 14% believe they do it well.

It’s not just for the top level, either. McKinsey suggests that frequent reallocation of high performers to the most critical strategic priorities was the talent factor most likely to lead to outperforming the competition.

Connecting talent to strategy

CEOs and CPOs are now required to demonstrate, particularly to boards and regulators in some sectors, that their succession planning and talent strategy clearly links to their business strategy and is equipping the business ahead of the increasing pace of disruption.

Furthermore, we are advising clients to challenge their landscape of roles and present succession maps and build succession plans that demonstrate a deeper and more targeted impact than ever before.

Informed, metrics-based decisions

At Odgers Berndtson, our Executive Assessment and Leadership Development teams help organisations make informed, metrics-based decisions around executive selection, high-potential identification, and succession planning.

During the process, three critical business needs are systematically addressed:

  1. The first is to define the organisation’s leadership requirements, both today and in the future, creating ‘success profiles’ for each role.
  2. The second is to assess potential successors for each role against the required experience and skills and desired leadership competencies and to build an active succession plan for the business based on individuals’ readiness, and a good understanding of the external market.
  3. The third is to close leadership gaps through individual (or cohort-based) development, planned experiential opportunities, real-time mentoring and coaching which accelerates the pace of change. These steps pave the way for the creation of a sustainable succession plan, and the chance for top talent to succeed.

The Odgers Berndtson model offers a rigorous and tested approach to executive assessment and leadership development, coupled with deep experience, to develop or validate the succession map and implement an agile, credible and successful succession plan for your organisation’s key leaders.


Leadership Succession

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