“It is critical to ensure seamless continuity”

Vanitha Narayanan, chairman, IBM India on effective succession planning

Published 6 years ago on Jan 10, 2018 1 minute Read

Succession planning should be a continuous process: Finding the right successor is not always easy especially if we are time boxed. It’s a critical part for any organisation to ensure seamless continuity. Doing so early allows the organisation to give potential leaders the right growth experience, runway and coaching.

Identify strong talent: While some candidates might be more ready than others to take on a leadership role, there will be some who might require development opportunities. Use the opportunity to groom them and make them ready for future roles.

Look outside and within: Don’t restrict succession planning to a narrow slate of candidates. It is important to cast a wide net of promising internal and external candidates. 

Don’t look for a replica: Skills which are required to perform the role today might be different that were required yesterday. As the market landscape is constantly evolving so do the skills required to get things done. Equally important to skills and experience is mind-set. 

Ensure a smooth transition: Formulate a clear on boarding plan for the new leader. The outgoing leader can play a key role by helping the successor understand the organisation culture, ensuring seamless transition and preserving institutional continuity with key stakeholders.