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Dr Mats tip of the day - 035 - Succession planning in Disruption

Succession planning is about ensuring that you have skills and your knowledge bank maintained across time - this protects your business from sudden resignations by key staff, plus it allows the key staff to move up and around your organization. Succession planning in my experience is a known topic and yet is rarely completed well, or rarely completed with any real engagement - it is often left, often ignored, often placed as a less important matter than the day to day operations.

So a small business may not find time for succession planning - yet the small business may be quite dependent on the founder and a few initial players. Large business may likewise spend insufficient time on succession planning as they believe that they have a sufficiently large talent pool to not have to spend the time on succession planning.

Staff on the other hand move organizations very regularly these days - often they move for career reasons seeking new roles, new pay grades and new opportunity. With no obvious succession path it is not hard to imagine why staff may so move often and early. Remember that your best staff who have the most mobility!

I recall an organization that was very fast paced, stressful at times and yet it had a very low turnover of staff. No surprise they paid in the top 5% of the roles grade and they had an open policy to move good staff around and to promote from within. In the 8 years that I knew this organization they had no senior appointments from outside of the organization - I put that largely down to the open and regular rotation of staff and succession planning. In that organization most new appointments occurred at the undergraduate and trainee end of the organization, never at senior levels.

So now consider succession planning in Disruption - the organization will likely change very regularly, involved in fast and uncertain changes. Your organization, if left without succession plans and staff rotations, may lose staff even more regularly that will expose deeper knowledge gaps occurring more often. A gap analysis may show that you will likely need resilient staff, need staff that like a challenge and you may need staff that can be creative despite uncertainty. Skills required for Disruption may be difficult to attract or hire - perhaps a succession plan aimed at Disruption should be on your agenda?

In building a Disruption succession plan - you will have opportunity to discover gaps in your current staff skills -also be in a position to plan for additional training and highlight the skills you have that will be useful in Disruption. A succession plan may lead to staff enjoying the rotations, the challenges and value their new skills - your staff may also stay longer due to their increased perceived value and career path. Of course the succession planning may increase your knowledge bank and shield your organization from some of the risks associated with Disruption.

I highly recommend building a succession plan that you share with staff - let them know you are preparing for the future, for Disruption.

If you are a Leader or seeking to be one in the future - you need to read, read, read about Disruption NOW ! Those that fail to understand and adjust will fall behind.

Feel free to ask Dr Mat over a chat or email on Leadership, Management or change issues, advice, consulting or mentoring that you may seek.

These and other related topics feature in Dr Mats upcoming book titled "Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence" - written for the modern professional, student and academic - anyone wanting to be ahead on modern Leadership and Management issues. Available through Amazon and other book sellers from May 24th 2019 - . This book has been strongly endorsed - so use this link to review the endorsements and their comments - consider buying this book or recommend it to colleagues or friends/family

Consider your own specific situation and seek professional advice before acting directly in reaction to any of the tips on this website, they are intended as general advice only.

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