Succession planning for key personnel is an important part of good strategy.   Succession planning becomes even more important when the person involved is an owner.  Previously we have written about succession planning and the things an organization should do to assure continuity.

Author, M. Dana Baldwin

Don’t wait too long to involve people in succession planning.  When a key person decides to leave or retire with relatively short notice, the process is in trouble.

Succession Planning

Succession Planning

Succession planning should be completed well in advance

You need to have time to select and train a successor who has the experience and knowledge to do the job well.  Cramming training into a month or two can make the changeover difficult.  Therefore, succession planning should be completed well in advance.  Success will be hampered in the absence of a detailed plan tailored to the needs of the successor.  Furthermore, the higher the position in the organization, the longer the replacement should have to learn what is required.

Succession planning should be a regular part of your strategic planning.  Organizations that anticipate their needs for some years into the future, provide for proper experience and mentoring.   They can leave a candidate out in the cold if they ignore training and mentoring.

You should monitor and update your succession plan regularly

Another problem can be failing to update your succession plan regularly. Doing succession planning once, and never monitoring progress of the individual is a potential problem waiting to happen. Therefore, you should monitor and update your succession plan regularly.  Candidates can fail to grow into senior jobs, or they can leave the organization for multiple reasons.  Consequently, if you don’t monitor your succession plan, you could miss important changes which could affect the future of your organization.

We regularly include succession planning in strategic planning.  Having the right human resources is critical to delivering your products or services.  We can help you with your succession planning.  Please contact me at or 616-575-3193.

Does your organization have a succession plan for your key personnel?  Attend the Simplified Strategic Planning Seminar to learn more about succession planning and other apects of Simplified Strategic Planning.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at:

© Copyright 2018 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three + 8 =