Succession planning is a formal process in which top executives regularly review all managers at or above a particular hierarchical level, looking at both performance and potential, and devise developmental plans for their most promising individuals. Succession planning entails the process of singling out the essential competencies and approaches necessary in the development and retention of talent in employees thus maintaining the continuity of leadership for all crucial positions in the organization. Succession planning often focuses on the recognition of critical competencies associated with critical positions that impact the organization in a significant manner.
Calasero (2013) delves into the explanation of why succession planning presents the key to maintaining the organization’s leadership. His proposition is that leadership can never be random and abrupt but needs to be well-planned and intentional. His focus is on succession planning for leadership in institutions of higher learning where he ensures to provide plausible processes that describe the concepts for these institutions including his institution (Calasero, 2013). His articles include a description of succession planning, what it entails and the steps involved towards achieving the administrative needs of these institutions. He ensures to define the concept and demonstrate how institutions can apply it in the development of an efficient road map necessary in ensuring future leadership, addressing any leadership needs and how it contributes to the attainment of institutional stability. His conclusion is that succession planning is essential and in some instances more important than all the other types of planning that take place in institutions of higher planning.
As a subject of great concern, many other scholars continue to develop rich sources of information on succession planning. Calasero (2013) does provide foundational knowledge on the overall concept and its applicability in institutions of higher learning. Flynn (2014) takes a different approach into the concept where he analyzes the advantages of individuals and especially financial advisers taking proactive rather than reactive approaches to succession planning. He hypothesizes that when the planning process is proactive, institutions manage to plan for leadership engagements early enough to help prevent moments of confusion and delay in addressing leadership issues.
These two authors help identify the necessity of being prepared for future inevitabilities in an organization’s leadership. Their propositions are in line with I Timothy 4:8 which states that
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Their advocacy for preparedness through physical and other forms of training concurs with the verse’s recommendation for physical training despite its inferiority to the value of godliness. Despite their focus on different organizations, their ideas merge in recommending for succession planning for the smooth transition in leadership.
Further, Church (2014) analyzes succession planning and identifies that the concept may fail for many organizations due to the wrong execution plan. He also recommends what he believes acts as the best execution strategy from organization leaders who view succession planning as difficult. Darvish and Temelie (2014) endeavor to understand the concept but in the context of Payame Noor University. They identify that the university’s application of succession planning is weak and thus impacts its strategic planning negatively. Both these authors recognize how essential succession planning is just like Casalero (2013) does in his article. One could conclude that succession planning is part of an organization’s change strategy which Blanchard (2008) expresses in his video and he believes it needs to include the sharing of information, addressing of concerns and implementation before one comes to communicate its benefits.
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