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A Succession Plan for Every Position

It is important to the success and future of any organization and, in your case as a leader, for the department or division you lead, to have a succession plan for every position - from the top senior level to entry-level positions.

Where do you start?

I always start from the talent management approach. First, identify all key positions throughout the organization - regardless of title. Then create a backup plan for all the critical positions of the company (at every level). This backup plan includes cross-training employees and establishing procedures that anyone can follow. Having backup and cross-training are two strategies that avoid a crisis in unexpected situations and also for planned vacations, so the company operations run smoothly when key employees are out. The next step is to write a succession plan for all critical positions, and make it part of your strategic plan. Your position as a leader is one of those critical positions.

Let's look at succession planning from the perspective of maximizing your employees' individual talents. How do you maximize each person's talents? One way is by providing cross-training and backup opportunities to all employees. These two steps will help your employees and grow and learn something new. At the same time, you will be creating a succession plan that will feel natural for everyone.

Excerpt from Bring YOUR Shoes - A Fresh Perspective for Leaders with Big Shoes to Fill

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