Every organization needs to ensure it has a plan for the exit, retirement, emergency coverage for its most critical employee. And most organizations have those in place, in theory. However, time and again, those succession plans are not utilized as anticipated. The reasons are aplenty but at the core they revolve most often around the Board?s unintended or unpracticed scenario understanding of what that might actually look like. Thus, when the need for the plans suddenly (seems suddenly every time), the Board is often quite critical of its own plan and either compromises it immediately or scraps it entirely.
Making a chart with who could step in, is a simplistic and yet common substitution for succession planning. It does not allow for dialogue with those senior team members for transparency, preparation, setting expectations or planning for new training mandates.
A process that includes a scenario-based exercises ensures the risks of losing key people is well planned. Without it, the organization from the Board right through to the frontline will stand to be compromised and while you will certainly recover, why would any organization risk the pain when it can be very comfortably resolved, long before any succession needs arise.