C H A P T E R 1 4 THE FUTURE OF SUCCESSION PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

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No organization is immune to changing external environmental conditions.

However, what external conditions will affect an organization varies, depending

on such factors as the organization’s industry, size, and relative market

dominance. Moreover, how those conditions affect an organization depends

on the ways in which its leaders and workers choose to address them. These

principles hold as true for succession planning and management (SP&M) programs

as for strategic planning.

Examining trends is a popular HR activity. Much has been written in recent

years about trends affecting HR generally,1 functional areas within HR specifically,

2 and SP&M efforts.3 A cursory glance at the writing in the field yields

many topics concerning outsourcing HR, cutting HR (and particularly benefits)

costs, transforming HR into a strategic partner, building bench strength and

talent pools, enhancing work and life balance, maintaining employee security

in the wake of increasing violence in the workplace and threats of terrorism

outside the workplace,4 and using technology to leverage HR productivity.

In this final chapter, I gaze into the crystal ball and offer predictions for the

future of SP&M that are likely to arise from changing external environmental

conditions. While some predictions remain unchanged from the last edition

of this book, I add some additional ones. SP&M needs will:

Prompt efforts by decision-makers to find a flexible range of strategies

to address organizational talent needs.

Lead to integrated retention policies and procedures that seek the early

identification of high-potential talent, efforts to retain that talent, and

efforts to retain older high-potential workers.

Have a global impact.

Be influenced increasingly by real-time technological innovations.

Become an issue in government agencies, academic institutions, and

nonprofit organizations in a way never before seen. Businesses will not

be the only organizations interested in succession issues.

Lead to increasing organizational openness about possible successors.

Increasingly seek to integrate effective succession issues with careerdevelopment

issues.

Be heavily influenced by concerns about work/family balance and spirituality

issues.

Focus increasingly on real-time talent-development efforts as well as

strategic efforts, which center on the role of managers in daily work

with their reports.

Center as much on ethical and value-oriented issues as on competencybased

issues.

Become more fully integrated with selection decisions.

Focus on leveraging talent as well as developing it.

Include alternatives to one-hire-at-a-time approaches, such as mergers,

acquisitions, or takeovers for the purpose of rapid and broad-based talent

acquisition.

Become closely linked to risk management and concerns about security.

Become associated with more than management succession.

Before you read about these predictions, use the worksheet in Exhibit 14-1 to

structure your thinking (and that of decision-makers in your organization).

The Fifteen Predictions

Prediction 1: Decision-Makers Will Seek Flexible Strategies to Address Future