Of all the risks to an enterprise, the most costly and disruptive are problematic transitions and assimilations at the Board and C-level. It’s been said there is no success without a successor. Succession at the higher echelons is a reality of business, but the fact is, some organizations handle it better than others. For leadership to have continuity, scalability, and sustainability, a framework for succession must be woven into the organizational and cultural fabric of the enterprise – this is where things get a bit tricky. (See a recent article on CEO.com by Mike Myatt entitled The #1 Reason CEO Successions Fail)
"I enjoyed working with Mike during our succession process at Humana. It is always stressful for management and the board to go through a change in the CEO position, and Mike's seasoned guidance was of great value. He was very effective in navigating between me as the sitting CEO, my successor and the board. I would recommend him to any board as they work through succession." ~ Mike McCallister, Chairman, Humana
Succession is not an HR problem - it’s a leadership issue. At its essence a Board, CEO or CXO succession is a collaboration between diverse constituencies. Succession is more than planning as plans don’t develop people – experiences do. Succession is more than recruiting – hiring a successor candidate is not the solution, it’s the beginning of the journey. The are many consultancies who want to put you through their "succession process" - at N2growth we collaborate with clients in engineering an outcome based approach to succession that meets the strategic, organizational, cultural, and operational needs or your organization.
While most organizations have dealt with succession planning at some level, rarely is dealt with at all levels by touching the necessary constituencies with appropriate timing and care. Succession needs to be part of the values, vision, strategy and culture of an organization. It must be embraced by leadership, communicated to the workforce, and understood by external stakeholders. It must be viewed as a step forward and not a regression.
While many will overcomplicate succession, others tend to trivialize it. The truth is succession is a blending of the art and science of leadership, people, positions, philosophies, relationships, culture, and a certainty of execution – it’s what we do. N2growth has conducted hundreds of succession engagements and is adept at understanding the unique issues surrounding each client’s succession challenges. We make it simple to understand, communicate and deliver.
Whether you're charged with the responsibility for the entire succession lifecycle, or any component thereof, N2growth can be a valuable partner in facilitating a successful outcome. For more information on Board, CEO, or CXO succession planning please contact us.