Just as there are countless reasons for an individual to indefinitely defer their personal estate planning, executives and managers can find innumerable reasons to delay succession planning for their role at a company.
One of the more common reasons people provide when pressed on their procrastination is that they do not have the right candidate in mind to replace them yet. They believe that it will be a difficult and lengthy process to conclusively decide who should take over their responsibilities at the company, so they put off making any decision at all.
If you have yet to create a succession plan because you aren’t sure who the right candidate for your successor would be, you may want to create a plan that does not prioritize one specific successor.
You can create guidelines rather than nominating a person
Your succession plan does not need to name a particular employee to step up into your role when you retire or leave the company. Instead, you can identify the key skills, education, personality traits and professional accomplishments that would make someone a good candidate. You could even create a test they could administer or a checklist of necessary qualifications.
Providing information for other managers and executives to use to create a shortlist of possible candidates can be as viable of a strategy as naming specific candidates. It is also a more flexible option, as you never know who might leave the company unexpectedly. Whichever approach you take, taking the time to create a plan before something disrupts your employment is crucial to a smooth transition.
Thinking about the business’s needs when you no longer work there can help you create a succession plan that helps pave the way for the company’s future success.