Succession Planning and Transition
As the late Peter Drucker famously taught, “There is no success without a successor.” While not every organizational executive is ready to change positions, retire, or move on to another project, thoughtful CEOs who want to do the right thing, are responsible to make sure that the good work of your agency lives on beyond your personal tenure. This means building leadership development and training into every level of the enterprise, not just the C-Suite.
The best succession strategies are those that are planned. In my own case, I engaged in a process that spanned three years. Many moving parts are involved in successful transitions, from coordinating a search to onboarding a new candidate. While radical change is disruptive I know that, when handled properly, a transition to a new executive can be a time of great collaboration and excitement.
Under the best of circumstances an incumbent should always be involved in some aspects of replacing herself. The reality is, however, that it is often far more effective to work with outside counsel. Transitions are emotional times even when they are right for all concerned. I have found that as an outside consultant who has been through succession planning myself, I can bring a certain dispassion and calm to what is often a tumultuous time.