Connecting to LinkedIn...



Succession Planning: Five Golden Rules for Getting it Right (and How it Can Go Wrong)

At any level, in any organisation, effective succession planning is essential to ensure smooth transitioning. Here are our five golden rules for getting it right and a cautionary note about what can go wrong.


1. Plan Ahead

As John Lennon once sang, ‘life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans...’ and all too often situations can arise for which you’re completely unprepared. The earlier you have your succession plan in place, the easier the transition will be. Implementing a succession planning team is one of the most effective ways of managing the situation.

2. Engage with Your Stakeholders

A fair and multi-perspective succession plan will involve all stakeholders affected by the transition. The challenge is to recognise a wide spectrum of perspectives and propose solutions which identify the concerns of all colleagues.

3. Assess your Internal Candidates

Nurturing and developing employees from within a company is one of the most effective ways of managing a successful succession. A cohesive and well-thought through succession plan will increase the pool of talent available to fill positions as they become vacant.

4. On-Board the Successor

It’s vital to prepare for what follows after the successor has been announced. They, together with the rest of the organisation must work together to create an environment in which they are ready to face the challenges of their new role.

5. Evaluate the Process’ Effectiveness

Post-transition, instigate a period of reflection and evaluation to explore the effectiveness of the process and to tighten procedures where necessary.


Planning ahead is important and when it goes wrong it can be destabilising for the business. Mistakes are made when employees do not have faith in the successor, and where the incumbent has built structures and responsibilities around themselves so deeply that it’s difficult for them to let go, either mentally or physically. Make sure your business is prepared.



Hannah Sherlock | Senior Account Manager


+44 (0)161 927 9487


07985 953 274