Succession Planning


The Succession Planning process is a systematic effort by an organization to ensure leadership continuity and individual advancement.  There are two primary driving forces in this process…the organizational needs and requirements of the business, as well as the needs, requirements and development of the individual.  These processes and goals are inextricably connected.  One is dependent on the other and one will fail if the other is not present.


The Succession Planning process provides the data and information to drive the Developmental Coaching efforts in the organization.  The information derived from the Succession Planning process serves as the “road map” to determine which direction the Developmental Coaching effort needs to follow.  The Succession Planning process has as its outcomes the in following:


·        An identification of high potential/high performing individuals

·        An analysis of the key human resources needs to meet the future business demands of the organization (e.g. where is the growth going to occur? where are there gaps in the talent requirements? etc.)

·        A determination of the overall training and development needs of the organization

·        An analysis of the bench strength of the organization and current/future recruiting requirements

·        The identification of specific “next step” career path issues for individuals


Moving from analysis to action:  Using the results of the Succession Planning  process


After the identification of the outcomes of Succession Planning, the Developmental Coaching process then moves to the next step and provides the organization a system and methodology to ensure those results are effectively implemented.  The Developmental Coaching process provides the organization with the following:


·        An action plan and methodology for the development of the identified key employees

·        A comprehensive individual coaching and development process linked to the strategic initiatives of the organization

·        A focused development plan that is linked to filling the skills “gaps” identified in the Succession Planning process




The Developmental Coaching process is an integral part of the entire Executive Training and Development strategic initiative.  Coaching is perhaps one of the most impactful modalities to quickly, directly and efficiently provide an executive with both feedback on their behavior and performance, as well as suggestions for enhancing and developing their areas of need.  An additional benefit of the coaching model is that it provides both the coaches and the participants with opportunities to expand their skill sets.  There are several viable options that an organization can choose from in order to successfully implement an Executive Coaching program. These include:




One of the most effective ways in which an organization can ensure an on-going pipeline of coaching talent is to develop an internal comprehensive program of coaching, training, development and mentoring.  This process then serves to regularly assess organizational requirements for coaching talent, and then has a structure in place to meet the need.  In order to develop a comprehensive and systematic program consider the following alternatives: 


·        Develop a coaching model to be used throughout the organization

·        Construct and implement a customized Coaches Training Workshop

·        Construct and implement a customized Mentor Training Workshop

·        Construct and implement a workshop for those who are/will be coached and mentored to ensure they maximize their participation in the process

·        Design and implement structured and specific criteria for admittance into the Coaching and/or Mentor talent pool

·        Develop a formal internal Communications framework (e.g. web based, group meetings etc.) for Coaches, Mentors and their participating partners

·        Develop a web-based library of developmental experiences and activities to provide to coaches and mentors

·        Develop metrics for success for these processes as well as monitoring systems to ensure success and a strong return on the investment of time and resources

·        Develop a “closed-loop” process to ensure those who are coached and mentored become future coaches and mentors


Developmental Options Include


1.      Experience/career matrix review

2.      Development action plan with specific targets

3.      Development opportunities within current position

4.      Developing a personal leadership vision

5.      Learning how to influence and build support for their vision

6.      Action learning project—special project assignments based upon the development plan to enable participants to gain knowledge and experience in needed areas

7.      Leadership workshops on key strategic business issues to allow participant to network, gain exposure to senior management and develop greater skills

8.      Supplemental readings

9.      External seminars where appropriate




While having a well-trained and available pool of internal coaches and mentors will serve the majority of coaching requirements for the organization, there will most certainly be occasions where it is most appropriate to bring in an external resource as the coach and/or mentor.  These occasions include, but are not limited to, the following occurrences:


·        The level of the person being coached is very high and the pool of internal coaches may feel somewhat intimidated

·        The individual being coached has significant issues which require more experience than the internal coaches possess

·        The level of coaching requires significantly more time than the internal coaches have available

·        The individual being coached has a preference for an outside resource in order to ensure a greater level of confidentiality

·        There are no internal coaches currently available


If an external coach is required, it is in the best interest of the organization to have this (these) individuals identified prior to the need surfacing.  In addition, this individual should meet several requirements including, but not limited to, the following:


1.      An extensive background and experience in all facets of coaching and mentoring

2.      A model consistent with the one being used by the internal coaches within the organization

3.      A working knowledge of the culture of the organization

4.      A formal, time focused process for the coaching program

5.      A methodology to assess success and a focus on metrics

6.      A strong results and behavioral orientation

7.      The ability to form confidential alliances with senior level executives




In summary, the Succession Planning and Developmental Coaching processes and systems are both critical to the success of an organization. To be most effective, these processes must be aligned and work in concert to ensure that the organization’s human capital is maximized.


Outlined above are methodologies to ensure that the formal results obtained during the Succession Planning process are effectively followed up in the coaching and development phase.



Executive Development Group, LLC | 2236 Suffron Hills Ct. | Henderson, NV 89044
Phone: 702.272.1970| Fax:  702.272.0254

Contact: mitchell@developingexecutives.com