Now Is the Time to Revisit Your Emergency Succession Plan | Spencer Stuart

Talent Management

Few would dispute the importance of succession planning (SP) to leadership continuity and safeguarding organizations from retention risk and turnover in key roles. And similar to other important HR-driven capabilities such as workforce planning, both the impact and criticality of SP is most often felt during times of crisis or emergencies–when organizations are upended from business-as-usual. It is during those times that the strength of these capabilities is tested. In this article, Spencer Stuart highlights a few best practices for developing an emergency succession plan and offers additional considerations for SP during the current crisis, including 1) planning for multiple back-up successors, 2) providing greater transparency about short-term succession plans, 3) taking a team approach to knowledge-sharing and supporting one another throughout the crisis. Page 7 provides an “emergency succession planning checklist” that summarizes the information in the article –ranging from defining the criteria for the interim successor to considering the “domino effect” that interim decisions will have the organization. As organizations emerge from the current crisis, it is highly likely that SP will become even a greater priority for many Boards who will want to reset both long-term succession plans in a new business context and short-term term emergency successions plans that can be quickly executed when needed.

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