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“Succession” is developing to succeed

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The HBR Management Tip of the Day today is from Marshall Goldsmith (author of What Got you Here Won’t Get You There — must reading) about succession planning – a hot topic in the information profession. I’ve always referred to the need for succession “management”, but Goldsmith refers to succession “development”, & he’s right. Managing an organization’s succession does have to be a whole process which must be managed, & the emphasis really is on people’s development to enable them to “succeed” in every sense of the word.

Here’s an inter-mingling of Goldsmith’s & our tips for succession development & management; much of our experience has been guided by Rothwell’s Effective Succession Planning.

1. Determine Future Requirements: Recognize that strategic planning, staff planning, & succession management are all inter-related & highly dependent; you can’t move forward (strategic plan) without the right capabilities, competencies (staff planning) & management (succession management). PLUS – how can you determine staffing & leadership needs Call it what it is: succession management or succession development – it doesn’t matter which, just don’t call it succession planning, since the focus shouldn’t be on the plan, it should be on how the organization is ensuring ongoing leadership, management, capabilities & success.

2. Commit: Senior management or the board must buy in to the overall process be supportive of it as on-going, not a one-time “here’s the slide deck” event.

3. Assess Current Requirements & Skills: As with anything, start with where you are – know what you have

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