Over the years, we've encountered both ends of the spectrum when it comes to succession planning - either it doesn't exist, or organisations try to plan for every possible scenario. We believe that a succession planning system is crucial to any organisation, regardless of its size, industry or make up. Our philosophy is to keep it simple.
Firstly, identify key leadership roles as well as key functional roles. One of our clients in the Hospitality industry found out the hard way that their Reservations person was the only person who knew how to operate the Reservations system. When that person left unexpectedly, our client's operations were in disarray for 3 days.
Identify what competencies are required and identify 3 people who may step into the role - along with any competency gaps that exist, and activities that may be required to close those gaps.
We have also developed an easy-to-use template, which can be downloaded here: Succession Planning Template.