Management Succession Planning

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The ongoing sustainability of any organization’s management team rests on having quality leaders in place and avoiding disruption. What seems like a fundamental premise to consistent goal-achievement tends to be a secondary corporate issue. In too many instances, organizations are ill-prepared to deal with attrition, retirements, promotions, and executives who pursue other career opportunities.

When companies scramble to fill upper-level positions by quickly gathering resumes or working with head-hunters, the results are often less than desirable. In some cases, the post is filled by an individual whose skills and talents are not a precise fit to that of the team and organization. Other times, vacancies linger while valued employees suffer from a lack of direction from senior leadership. That’s why an increasing number of organizations are turning to SIGMA for management succession planning. Our experienced team works diligently with the existing management team to develop a sustainable plan to promote smooth transitions in the event you abruptly lose a vital decision-maker.

What is Management Succession Planning?

A proactive management succession planning strategy minimizes the loss of knowledge, expertise, and experience that organizations tend to routinely suffer. Rather than use stop-gap measures to fill the vacuum left by an outgoing expert, we work with you to develop a pool of talent within your organization who are ready to step up when called upon. We base our strategy for management succession planning on the underlying belief that your in-house talent is ready to undergo the training and skill-development required to address and avoid leadership gaps and losses of valuable insider knowledge and experience.

Consider for a moment that even if that stack of resumes that HR has ready contains a viable executive-level candidate, the learning curve facing almost any new hire creates some level of disruption. It’s also not uncommon for professionals in other organizations and parallel sectors to have vastly different ideas about the best way to get things done, or for newly hired leaders to make broad-sweeping changes before gaining the trust and subsequent buy-in for their ideas. When outside hires are given the authority to implement new policies, it’s not uncommon for otherwise dedicated employees to consider a change of scenery. These changes cost time, money, productivity, and disruptions to the in-house talent pool.

We believe there is a better way to prepare for the future that can mitigate some of these issues and help organizations retain and develop talent. We work closely with industry leaders to look at an organization’s current status with regard to succession planning, the critical roles in your organization requiring attention, and change the culture from one without a current management succession planning strategy and vulnerable to change to one of “next leader up.”

What are the Benefits of Management Succession Planning?

When the culture shift and the goals of management succession planning are in synch, your organization will have proven leaders immersed throughout. If that seems like CEOs and other executives are grooming their successor, that’s because you are to some degree. But the premise is not to replace the current team in any way, shape, or form. Holding on to the maximum number of experienced people increases the value of an organization. In today’s corporate climate, thought leaders rank personnel retention among the most valued assets.

These are the benefits that SIGMA’s unique succession planning process can deliver:

  • Seamless Management Transitions
  • More Robust & Experienced Workforce
  • Avoid Leadership Disruption
  • Identifies Most Competent Leaders
  • Creates Internal Structures for Professional Growth
  • Improved Company-Wide Moral & Confidence
  • Greater Retention of Up-And-Coming Executives
  • Improves Long-Terms Organizational Success

Consider Leadership Styles

Before any organization can decide on a succession management plan, its senior management team will need to consider the style of leadership the operation currently employs and how that could potentially evolve. Leadership styles are not necessarily determined by individuals, they are reflections of the culture of their relevant industry.

Take, for instance, the leadership qualities of a military general versus a hospital CEO. When it comes down to brass tacks, the sector dictates the necessary style, not the other way around. And yet, leaders tend to have certain traits in common that inspire others. At SIGMA, we strive to support the growth of well-rounded leaders who inspire through knowledge, dedication, and communication skills, among others and have a scientifically-validated approach to assessing and developing leadership talent.

How to Create a Successful Management Team

It’s generally in an organization’s best interest to develop a balanced decision-making team. This usually means bringing together experienced people who enjoy in-depth knowledge about specific areas of the operation, while also having a firm grasp of company philosophy and best practices. Our team conducts a thorough assessment of personnel and delivers an impartial analysis of your workforce’s strengths, challenges, and ways to hone and develop skills.

Creating a Well-Rounded Management Team

While each organization has their own idiosyncrasies requiring a customized approach, there remain several key steps that can be used to create a successful and well-rounded management team in almost any organization:

  • Identify the General and Specific Skills Necessary for the Operation’s Leadership Roles
  • Connect those Skills to Longterm Success Strategies
  • Make Current Team Members Aware of Professional Development Opportunities
  • Formalize & Implement a Management Succession Planning Program

Although the move to implement a succession planning program, like any organizational change, may be met with some resistance, it tends to inspire and motivate the go-getters within the organization. We’ve all experienced a sense that our skills and abilities were being undervalued at some point in our careers and this reduces motivation and can lead to losses of talent. To the passionate and committed members of your organization, a formal management succession program is usually embraced as a rare opportunity to receive specialized training and development opportunities, preparing them to be promoted from within when a leadership gap occurs. Our experienced succession planning consultants work with you to develop a consistently inclusive and diverse leadership team prepared to meet future challenges.

Work with Experienced and Dedicated Management Succession Planning Professionals

While it may seem entirely possible to perform this work in-house, SIGMA’s team of succession planning professionals can help by working to provide you with a proven process that is unique to your industry and organization.

Get in touch with SIGMA to learn more about our Management Succession Planning process and how we can provide a thorough implementation plan through our industry-leading workshops.

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