CEO Succession Plan

Is Your Succession Plan Gathering Dust?

Succession needs a plan.  Why would you need Cornerstone to help with yours?

Succession planning, by default, should be a logical process. And most organizations will have such a process in place. But default arrangements have a way of slipping a gear over time without anyone noticing.

For example, you have a commitment to internal succession. But you cut back on leadership training in the last economic squeeze and the pipeline isn’t what it used to be. Or crisis management took over the mandate and introduced a shorter-term viewpoint that may not be best.

Keep the plan pertinent

Fresh and experienced minds can make sure your planning remains appropriate to your organization.

“It all comes down to alignment,” says Alan Kneale, Managing Director of Cornerstone offices in Dubai and the U.K. “Is the plan aligned with the company’s goals and processes? Will it contribute to getting where they want to be?

“Succession planning is normally led by the Chairman and the HR department who know their company better than I do. But by probing and supporting some alternative thinking, you can open up new opportunities.”

Many Cornerstone offices around the world include CEO Succession among their expert services to clients. Most follow a basic five-step Cornerstone process.

Step 1: Identify critical positions

Critical positions are the focus of succession planning efforts. Workforce projection data or demographic analysis is essential in identifying risk areas. A risk assessment may be conducted and compared to current and future vacancies to identify critical positions within your organisation.

Step 2: Identify competencies

A clear understanding of capabilities needed for successful performance in key areas and critical positions is essential for guiding learning and development plans, setting clear performance expectations, and for assessing performance. This may require competency or position profiling within your organisation.

Step 3: Identify succession management strategies

Once critical positions have been identified and have been profiled for competencies, the next step is to choose from a menu of several human resource strategies, including developing internal talent pools, onboarding and recruitment.

Step 4: Document and implement succession plans

The next step is to document the strategies in an action plan. The Succession Planning: Action Plan provides a mechanism for clearly defining timelines and roles and responsibilities

 Step 5: Evaluate Effectiveness

To ensure that the organization’s succession planning efforts are successful, it is important to systematically monitor workforce data, evaluate activities and make necessary adjustments.

If you would like to discuss your succession planning with experts, contact any of our 60+ Cornerstone offices, or email Alan Kneale at

[consultant id=”2541″ name=”Alan Kneale” position=”Cornerstone Liverpool”]