Managing Disruption through Strategic Succession Planning

Planning for succession must now be a part of any company’s long-term strategy, especially given the current business environment’s constant change. When founders leave, a significant gap is left behind that may be challenging to fill. Businesses must therefore have a written succession plan in place. Businesses can lessen the disruption in the ways outlined below.

Proactively identify potential leaders

Businesses should actively seek out applicants with the experience, education, and expertise to fill critical positions. This can be a lengthy procedure, so early preparation is key. This way, businesses may give potential leaders a fair shot at learning the ropes.

The following are some procedures that businesses can implement:

  • Identify the most important positions and the most qualified candidates to fill those roles;
  • Find possible leaders using a variety of means (performance reviews, talent assessments, employee referrals);
  • Create and carry out training programs, offer possible leaders experience in a variety of roles, and track their development.

Create a development plan

The goal of this plan is to detail the actions that will be performed to train possible leaders to take over the position. There should also be a schedule for when the learning and improvement will occur. Doing so helps businesses guarantee they have capable people on hand to fill important positions and lessens the chance of a leadership void.

Other procedures that businesses can implement include the following:

  • Draft a training program defining the necessary knowledge and expertise for any potential leaders;
  • Provide a timetable for when various forms of education and growth will take place;
  • Offer them chances to both learn from and contribute to the efforts of their peers.

Communicate the plan

In order for everyone to comprehend the plan and how it will influence the business, this communication needs to be transparent, clear, and brief.

Moreover, businesses might use the following procedures:

  • Prepare a strategy for informing relevant parties of the succession plan’s existence and status at predetermined intervals;
  • Use a wide range of channels, from company-wide emails to town hall meetings to one-on-one talks with important stakeholders;
  • Assist stakeholders with any queries or worries they might have regarding the plan.

Provide training and development opportunities

Potential leaders should be given the opportunity to gain the expertise and training they’ll need to succeed in the position once the current incumbent departs. A leadership void can be avoided and the likelihood of success increased if businesses take this strategy.

Organizations can benefit from the following additional procedures:

  • Provide future leaders with educational opportunities, mentorship, and coaching;
  • Provide potential leaders the chance to obtain hands-on experience in many departments.

Test the plan

The company should check in on the possible leaders frequently to see how they’re doing and make any necessary revisions to the strategy if needed. Doing so helps businesses get ready for future changes in leadership.

Other procedures that businesses can implement include the following:

  • Track the growth of potential leaders using performance metrics and other objective criteria;
  • Keep the succession plan in line with the company’s objectives by conducting frequent assessments of its present and future needs;
  • Make sure the plan holds up in the real world by testing it often.

Consider external candidates

While promotion from within is usually the best course of action for succession planning, it is equally vital to look beyond the company for potential leaders. This might be beneficial because it can introduce new ideas and expertise to the position. Candidates from outside the company may have relevant experience from other sectors or organizations.

Here are some extra procedures that businesses might implement:

  • Seek for potential individuals from within and without the organization;
  • Assess each applicant using the same criteria and in a consistent manner;
  • Assume external applicants’ cultural fit.

Involve the current leader

To avoid chaos during a change in leadership, we should look for potential leaders, provide them with training and development opportunities, and share the plan with stakeholders while seeking their input.

The following are some extra procedures that businesses can implement:

  • Get the present leader involved in brainstorming and rating their performance;
  • Help the present leader by giving them the tools they need to create training and development opportunities;
  • Recommend that the existing leader share the proposal with interested parties.

Be transparent

Businesses should be forthright and honest about the procedure and its effects. Facilitating trust and confidence among stakeholders, including employees, shareholders, and consumers, is important for a successful transition.

The following are some extra procedures that businesses can implement:

  • Share the succession planning strategy openly and honestly with everyone who has an interest in it;
  • Regular reports on the plan’s development and any necessary tweaks or fixes are requested;
  • Get people involved to give their thoughts and opinions.


In today’s unpredictable corporate environment, succession planning has never been more crucial. By proactively identifying potential leaders, creating a development plan, providing training and development opportunities, testing the plan, and being transparent, companies can minimize disruption when company founders move on.