In human-resource management, the process of identifying potential successors to key positions in the organization and providing training, mentoring, and other opportunities to prepare them for these roles. Ideally, this should involve longer-term planning as well as the grooming of immediate replacements and should not be confined to the most senior positions in the company. Some common pitfalls associated with succession planning are: (a) the tendency to look for ‘clones’ of existing leaders, thereby neglecting talented individuals of a different gender, background, or personality type; (b) the tendency to ‘fast-track’ those seen as potential leaders by moving them up the hierarchy before they have had a chance to broaden their experience; and (c) the failure to realize that the future needs of the organization may be quite different from those of the past. The problem of succession planning can be particularly acute in small privately owned businesses that have depended on one or two very gifted individuals.
Subjects: Business and Management.