C H A P T E R 1 0 DEVELOPING INTERNAL SUCCESSORS

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For a succession planning and management (SP&M) program to be effective,

the organization must have some means by which to replace key job incumbents

as vacancies occur in their positions. Promotion from within is a timehonored

and crucially important, albeit traditional, way to do that.

But, to prepare individuals for promotion, the organization has an obligation

to do more than merely identify present and future work requirements

and performance. Some way must also be found to clarify—and systematically

close—the developmental gap between what possible successors can already

do and what they must do to qualify for advancement. Individual development

planning is the process of clarifying that developmental gap; internal

development uses planned training, education, development, and other

means to close the gap and thereby meet succession needs.

This chapter focuses on determining the organization’s collective succession

needs, using promotion from within to meet those needs, clarifying individual

developmental gaps, and closing those gaps systematically through

planned training, education, and development. More specifically, then, this

chapter addresses the following questions:

What is bench strength, and how can the leaders of an organization test

bench strength?

Why is internal promotion so important for succession, and when is

it—and when is it not—appropriate for meeting SP&M needs?

What is an individual development plan (IDP)? How should one be prepared,

followed up, and evaluated?

What are some important methods of internal development, and when

should they be used?