C H A P T E R 2 TRENDS INFLUENCING SUCCESSION PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

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Succession planning and management (SP&M) must be carried out against

the backdrop of increasingly dynamic organizations.1 Those organizations are

responding, either proactively or reactively, to changes occurring in their external

environments. As Leibman explains, ‘‘today’s dynamic environment

filled with global competition and business discontinuities defines the arena

in which succession planning must flourish. To do so, a much more active

orientation is required, one that is better characterized by succession management

and its emphasis on ongoing and integrated processes.’’2 For Leibman,

succession management is more active than succession planning and must be

carried out in a way that is tied to organizational strategy and is responsive

enough to deal with rapidly changing organizational settings. That is an accurate

view. To be effective, SP&M programs must anticipate—and not just react

to—the changes wrought by an increasingly dynamic business environment.

Many trends drive the future workplace and workforce. Among them are

the following3:

1. Changing Technology

2. Increasing Globalization

3. Continuing Cost Containment

4. Increasing Speed in Market Change

5. The Growing Importance of Knowledge Capital

6. An Increasing Rate and Magnitude of Change

These trends demand a new role for managers. They also call for a new,

more strategic role for HR practitioners.4 Trends such as these frame the future

of SP&M efforts, and effective SP&M programs are built to help organizations

manage and even capitalize on the effects of these trends.

This chapter examines key trends influencing SP&M. The chapter opens

with an activity for you to consider on the drivers of change and trends. It

then focuses on answering the question, ‘‘What trends are influencing SP&M?’’

The chapter directs attention to ten key trends exerting special influence on

SP&M:

1. The Need for Speed

2. A Seller’s Market for Skills

3. Reduced Loyalty Among Employers and Workers

4. The Importance of Intellectual Capital and Knowledge Management

5. The Importance of Values and Competencies

6. More Software to Support Succession

7. The Growing Activism of the Board of Directors

8. Growing Awareness of Similarities and Differences in Succession Issues

Globally

9. Growing Awareness of the Similarities and Differences of Succession

Programs in Special Venues: Government, Nonprofit, Education, Small

Business, and Family Business

10. Managing a Special Issue: CEO Succession

The chapter then offers conclusions about what these trends mean for SP&M.

But first, take a moment to rate your organization on its handling of SP&M

against the backdrop of the competitive environment. Complete the assessment

questionnaire appearing in Exhibit 2-1. When you finish, score the results

of your assessment. Then continue reading the chapter.

The Ten Key Trends

Trend 1: The Need for Speed

Time has emerged as a key strategic resource.5 If you doubt that, then consider

how often the phrase ‘‘reduction in cycle time’’ is used in companies today.

Also consider how fast the speed of processing time in computers is advancing.

Slashing the time it takes to get results is seen as a goal in its own right. This

includes:

Finding faster ways to transform basic research into applied research so

as to create new products or services and thereby beat competitors to

production or service delivery

Entering new markets faster

Reducing unnecessary or redundant steps in the production process

through process improvement

Exhibit 2-1. An Assessment Questionnaire: How Well Is Your Organization

Managing the Consequences of Trends Influencing Succession Planning

and Management?

Directions: Use this questionnaire to structure your thinking about how well your

organization is positioned to manage the consequences of key trends influencing

SP&M. For each item listed in the left column below, rate how well you feel your

organization is prepared to manage the consequences of the trends as they may

influence SP&M.

Use the following scale to rate your opinions:

1 _ Not at all prepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences

SP&M.

2_Very unprepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences

SP&M.

3 _ Unprepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences

SP&M.

4 _ Somewhat prepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences

SP&M.

5 _ Prepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences SP&M.

6 _ Well prepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences

SP&M.

7 _ Very well prepared to manage the consequences of the trend as it influences

SP&M.

If you wish, ask decision-makers in your organization to complete this assessment

questionnaire individually. Then compile the results and feed the results back to the

decision-makers so that they may see their collective views.

The Questionnaire

How Well Is Your Organization Positioned to

Manage the Consequences of the Trend as It

Influences SP&M?

Not at Very Well

All Prepared Prepared

Trend 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1. The Need for Speed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2. A Seller’s Market for Skills 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3. Reduced Loyalty Among

Employers and Workers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

(continues)

Exhibit 2-1. (continued)

4. The Importance of Intellectual

Capital and Knowledge

Management 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

5. The Key Importance of

Values and Competencies 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Scoring

Add up the totals

of the columns above

and place the sum in

the box at right