In this article, Gartner outlines 5 risks that can detract from an organization’s succession planning efforts. While each risk is important, there is one that I want to expand on: “Lack of transparency around succession management.” This refers to an organization’s philosophy on whether to communicate to an employee that he/she has been identified as a successor. Although some organizations do have a talent philosophy where they openly communicate to a high-potential or future leader they’ve been identified as a successor, many organizations still don’t inform successors. One reason often cited for not communicating is: “If I tell an employee he/she has been identified as a successor, am I promising something I might not be able to deliver?” While this is a reasonable concern, not informing a successor has drawbacks in most cases, not the least of which is a weakened ability to facilitate targeted development efforts. And, although some unique situations might restrict what can be shared and when, there is an opportunity to develop more comfort with informing successors and acknowledge that we are simply having a conversation about possible future scenarios, not making promises. How this gets communicated is what is important. What is your philosophy?