Hanover Research conducted a study into succession planning in Sept/Oct 2014 on behalf of Korn Ferry. It was conducted across 54 different countries with companies ranging in size from 500 to 50,000+ employees. They had over 1000 responses from senior leaders.
Only 1 in 3 of respondents were satisfied with the outcome of their succession planning.
Most agreed that a ratio of 2:1 for internal vs external was correct. Yet most said that external was more than one third in reality.
Companies that win are those that strategically align the succession plan with the direction of the business. The key is that they identify candidates who can change quickly and have the learning agility to move as the target moves for the business success. Learning agility is the ability and willingness to learn from experience and then apply that learning to perform successfully under new situations.
The musts of succession planning:
1. Linked to the strategic plan.
2. Supported by the CEO and board.
3. The selected competencies are correct for the future direction of the organisation.
4. Professional assessments conducted.
5. Be systematic.
6. System to identify executive potential at an early career stage.