It’s January 2020. Do you know what that means? It means succession planning. If you do nothing else this month, start your succession planning. Succession planning is one of the most important parts of leadership development. Why? Because you are going to lose people this year. It is inevitable. The baby-boomer generation is retiring at alarming speeds and people are leaving for a variety of reasons, whether voluntarily, involuntarily, or in some dreadful cases, tragically.

Things happen; life happens. And when they leave, all that intellectual capital leaves with them. Are you prepared? Is your first thought to place an internal candidate to “warm the spot” while you recruit, or are you going to go with an internal candidate just because they are there and, “they seem like the next logical choice,” whether they are qualified or not? WRONG ANSWER! That is called replacement planning, and while it may be convenient, it is not necessarily the best solution.

Succession planning, as part of a leadership development program, can mean wonderful things for an organization. If designed right, as a bottom-up strategy, it can help you identify those employees AT ALL LEVELS who have the potential to be developed into amazing leaders for your organization. This promotes self-development, employee engagement and retains the best employees.

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