The reality is that most of your key people will not be with your business indefinitely

Checkside was founded on a specialisation in succession planning. This is an area in which we hold unique expertise given the combined financial, risk and HR capabilities of our directors.

What is succession planning?

Succession planning is about having a strategy and process for managing inevitable changes that will occur when key people leave your business, and/or navigating a change of ownership event.

Succession planning involves three key components:

No business owner pours their blood, sweat and tears into growing a business for years, only to see it undervalued, unsellable or unable to be successfully handed on to the next generation. Similarly, no smart investor will back a company that doesn’t have succession and contingency plans for the future.

Designing your succession plan

Many businesses avoid succession planning altogether, fearing it will be a difficult and expensive process while other companies consider their ‘succession plan’ completed after deciding on their next CEO.

Designing a proper succession plan does not have to be painful or unpleasant. It should, in fact, be a process that’s revisited often by boards, business owners and executives, amended accordingly to align with your business’s strategic direction and carefully planned to provide guidelines for current and future employees.

A strong succession plan should not be a plan for the replacement of just one high-level employee but rather a framework for developing leaders within your business and moving them into positions that will drive sustained high-performance across your organisation.

Checkside’s succession plan design process

Step 1 – Fact Find and Analysis

  • Review of your business model, strategy, key financial data, organisational structure, objectives, trends, HR strategy, workforce plan and current approaches to succession planning
  • Review of strengths, opportunities and threats / gaps
  • Model scenarios and options in relation to all areas of succession planning

Step 2 – Succession Plan Design

  • Work through succession objectives and constraints across strategic, operational and crisis succession planning
  • Workshop strategic and crisis succession options for alignment to operational plans
  • Outline operational career maps / pathways, aligned to your performance management system
  • Present to key executives for feedback and buy-in
  • Confirm model, process, timing and training plan

Step 3 – Implementation

  • Explain exit and crisis succession plans to key executives
  • Document and communicate operational succession plans and career maps / pathways to your employees as part of your performance management system
  • Deliver ongoing training to leaders to identify and encourage rising stars, and develop contingency in the business

Step 4 – Review

  • Review succession planning outcomes against objectives every 3 to 12 months (depending on your pace of growth)
  • Deliver additional / targeted communications and training to leaders as required

The business case for succession planning

Succession planning keeps your business ahead of the curve and is a prime responsibility of any board. Done well it creates a mindset of continuous executive development and risk management that saves time and headaches over the longer term.

It is an important factor for attracting and retaining A-grade talent, who place the highest value on succession planning when they choose where they want to work. In turn, it provides a better framework for understanding and managing talent.

Businesses with capability in succession planning enjoy over 140% stronger revenue growth and 160% higher profitability than their less capable peers, so it’s worth getting right.


Want to stay ahead of the curve?

To find out more about how succession planning provides a framework to drive sustained high-performance across your business, call us today.

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