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Succession Planning and Leadership
Development Process Design



A Framework for Building Executive and Senior Management Continuity—Individual Development and Succession Planning

Succession planning has often been approached as a technical problem of matching individual characteristics with job requirements. As such, this approach fulfills a replacement planning responsibility, and ensures that existing organizational processes and responsibilities could be maintained in the event of the loss of individuals. However, succession planning for the purposes of building organizational capability involves more than just replacement planning.

The processes of individual development and organizational succession planning must be integrated for any enterprise to be able to develop and sustain organizational capability. This integration helps ensure the availability of executive candidates who have the competencies required to support the organization’s strategic growth.

Development requires learning

The development of leadership competencies requires both opportunity and support for learning. Organizations can choose to let these processes happen by themselves, or they can choose to actively manage them. It may be tempting to assume a Darwinian stance: the individuals with the greatest potential for learning (the fittest) will survive and rise to the top, even in an unmanaged environment. While this may be true, the costs of the fall-out along the way are substantial.

Most organizations are currently suffering from a shortage of leadership talent, not a surplus. Logically, then it would make sense to create and manage a supportive environment that minimizes the negative effects of competition. If organizations provide both learning opportunities and help in learning, many more effective leaders will emerge than if the process is left unmanaged.

Meridien can help your organization address these challenges by:

  • Benchmarking your organisation's development and succession planning processes to identify areas for improvement
  • Auditing senior roles and responsibilities in your organization to identify developmental opportunities that will help prepare high potential managers for more senior leadership positions
  • Assessing individuals to help your organization identify those who can benefit most from developmental assignments
  • Coaching high potential individuals to help them learn from their development experiences