Improve Your Process with a Succession Planning Consultant
For many organizations, much of their talent and expertise is wrapped up in leadership nearing the end of their careers. As such, they are being forced to have discussions around their Succession Planning initiatives. When your company is embarking on a new challenge, like Succession Planning, one of the first decisions you may need to make is whether to use internal resources or the external expertise of a succession planning consultant.
Below we’ve outlined some things to consider when making the decision of whether to use a succession planning consultant.
One of the most valuable things a Succession Planning consultant delivers is time. For instance, examine SIGMA’s Succession Planning Launch Series. You and your team attend two half-day workshops and we deliver a customized implementation plan. This plan is complete with drafts of success profiles, competency profiles, Succession benches, and more. This plan would take six months for a client to develop on their own.
There are a variety of Succession Planning processes available for free. For example, you can find excellent books that detail what needs to be done at each stage and even a very cool Succession Guide with useful templates. However, Succession Planning is not a “one size fits all” initiative. That is to say, each company is unique, and there is value in having the input of someone who has developed a proven process that has been implemented in multiple environments. This experience helps a Succession Planning consultant to customize the process to your company’s unique needs, hence ensuring success.
The biggest challenge many companies have is keeping Succession a priority when they get busy. Not unlike a personal trainer that ensures you stay committed to your workout and diet plan, a Succession Planning consultant will keep you accountable and make sure you’re hitting agreed-upon milestones. At SIGMA, we build accountability workshops into our plans. These workshops get your leadership team working together to deliver on the Succession Plan. They also ensure that we collectively keep everyone accountable and provide a great chance to share successes and challenges.
Succession Planning is destined to fail without a strong perception of fairness and transparency throughout the company. While an outside consultant brings objectivity simply by offering an unbiased perspective, they are also able to offer another level of objectivity through the use of various tools. We recommend that every Succession Plan incorporate an objective assessment to inform decision making. A scientifically validated assessment is an excellent way to ensure your process isn’t a popularity contest; perceived or otherwise.
You are an expert in your business and have accumulated vast amounts of knowledge within your industry. This knowledge enables you to do things faster, better, and simpler than others can. You’d likely agree that it would take several years for someone to attain a reasonably similar level of competence. They may be able to step into your role sooner, but doing so would result in them taking longer to complete tasks, adding unnecessary complexity, and ultimately performing poorly. Succession Planning is no different. Because Succession Planning is what we do at SIGMA, we’ll always have a major advantage over someone who is trying to develop a Succession Plan, while also managing competing demands. We’ve already made the mistakes so that you don’t have to.
We know of companies that have successfully built a mature Succession Planning Process using only internal resources. So, we are not saying that it can’t be done. What we are saying is that it will take significantly longer and may not be done to the same standard. We recognize that you may not have that kind of time. For all the reasons discussed above, SIGMA can develop and execute a more efficient, structured, objective, and accountable Succession Plan, more quickly, and at significantly less cost (and pain).
Need Help Getting Started?
SIGMA’s Succession Planning Launch Series offers a simple and cost-effective way to build a robust Succession Planning process and ensure your organization’s leadership is positioned for success and prepared for the unknown.
Contact us to learn how we deliver a full-year Succession Implementation Plan for each member of your leadership team in just two half-day workshops.