The Simple Succession Planning Process

We all know that we should have a more formal approach to Succession Planning & developing leadership talent.  So, why do we find ourselves in the same place year after year doing things the way that we have always done?  We simply make things way too complicated which turns our leadership development process into one that is heavy on unproductive meetings and light on any actual progress.  Which takes us to the importance of having a simple succession planning process.

The key word in that last statement is “SIMPLE”.  We want something that is simple to develop, simple to follow, and simple to understand for everyone in the organization.  And, ultimately, we want the process to guide action not bureaucracy.

So, with that in mind, here is the process framework that we use with our clients.


  1. Define Success
    1. Assess Leaders
    2. Define profiles for each functional area or senior position
  2. Identify Potential
    1. Assess High Potential (HIPO) talent.
    2. Develop depth charts for each functional area or senior position
  3. Develop Talent
    1. Prepare individual development plans (IDPs)
    2. Identify mentors / coaches
    3. Explore development opportunities
  4. Measure Progress
    1. Review IDP every 6-12 months
    2. Assess individual progress
    3. Assess the effectiveness of programs

There you have it.  Now that we have outlined a framework, we can get into the specifics of what and when.

Until next time,


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