Five Rules for a Management Succession Planning System

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Management Succession Planning > Best Practices > Five Rules for a Management Succession Planning System

Five Rules for a Management Succession Planning System
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
Conger and Fulmer established five requirements for steady and reliable management succession planning.
1: The succession management system must orient towards development. Combining leadership development and succession management will result in optimal results.
2: Succession management systems need to focus on jobs that are important to an organization’s long-run success, also called linchpin positions. Focusing on these positions, companies will be able to supply the appropriate talent needed to fill future linchpin positions.
3: The system should be transparent. Although non-transparent systems have advantages, the idea is that employees will be more motivated if they know where they stand.
4: A successful management system should estimate and analyze progress frequently. In this way, potential problems will be recognized before they appear.
5: Establish a flexible succession management system. The most successful companies are the ones focusing on continuous improvements by changing their system according to feedback received, rather than being rigid.
Source: Conger, J. A. and R. M. Fulmer. “Developing your Leadership Pipeline”. Harvard Business Review, 2003.

On 5: Flexible: Cultural Influence on Reliable Management Succession Planning
P. ter Horst, Strategy Consultant, Chile, Member
The five requirements mentioned by Anneke Zwart are important for most companies, however, cultural differences may interfere this system. Not in all countries or cultures, feedback is treated in a way as suggested in the fifth point, thus having influence on the third point as well. Transparency is related to feedback, one can't exist without the other.

On 3: Transparent: Individual Contributions
Patrick E. Mentore, Consultant, Guyana, Member
As much as I agree with P. ter Horst I would like to say definitively that in some cultures the selfish element comes through even in the face of public advocacy for succession. What I mean is that some senior managers would like to be seen as indispensable to the process and therefore are more a hindrance than a help to change.

Combine Loyalty Management and Succession Management
Bueno, Analyst, Philippines, Member
@Patrick E. Mentore : Loyalty programs of the organization must be mature enough; promoting security and advocating sincere gratitude for the senior employees' loyalty and contributions. Loyalty programs mainly for the seniors and succession program for juniors with potentials. The two must strike a balance to help address the "selfish" element.
Succession management is a motivation for the candidates, but could be demotivating for the incumbents. The organization must protect the interest of the company, its candidates and its incumbents.

On Rule 2 for Succession Planning Systems: Focus only on Important Jobs?
Rolando Acevedo, Business Consultant, Chile, Member
To manage a transparent succession planning system is a complex issue. I agree that transparency could motivate employees to improve their performance and to get a better knowledge about their opportunities for progress. In addition, it could be an stimulus for other employees.
However, employees who do not participate in the succession planning system could develop bad feelings. They could consider that they have insufficient opportunities in the company and leave. That could could also deteriorate collaboration and teamwork.
My view is that a succession planning system should include all employees and the information about the individual plans and progress should be managed in a private manner between the employee and his boss.

On 5. Continuous Improvement of Management Sucession Planning System
Francielle Nunes, Entrepreneur, Brazil, Member
I totally agree with Anneke Zwart's comments, they are a set of goals to keep a sucession planning system working. Plans must have rules in order to guide management sucession.
On the other hand also new people arrive with new ideas. Continuous improvement should be encouraged to change the original plan system step by step.

Succession Planning and Talent Engagement Process
Rahul, Teacher, India, Member
Succession planning is a 2-way process, actively involving both the supervisor and employee.
The success of any succession planning is not prescriptive but suggestive and rigorous follow up on the action steps is needed.

Succession Planning and Talent Engagement Process
Ronsard Lazare, Student (MBA), South Africa, Member
In combination with succession planning & talent development, employee retention becomes crucial because of the sizeable investment made towards developing individuals.

On Rule 2 for Succession Planning System
Ochora Onek, Student (MBA), Uganda, Member
@Rolando Acevedo: I certainly agree with you, but it is important to note that equal opportunity should be made available to all potential successors in the system to reduce bad feelings attitudes.

On 2: Critical Jobs in Management Succession
Ossama Soliman, Director, Egypt, Member
Good points. I suggest to develop point 2 which focuses on critical jobs could be best formulated as "coordination and co-operation between core and critical jobs for company business success".

On 4: Estimate and Analyze Progress Frequently
Ossama Soliman, Director, Egypt, Member
And for point 4 the newest approach for management succession is the Total Quality Management approach that depends on professional continuous improvement depending upon a lot of professional standards one of them being continuous feedback.

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