Business Succession Planning to Build Your Bench Strength



Planning for both the foreseen and unexpected absences of people who hold key positions in an organization is a task that employers often avoid or engage in only informally. Worse yet, we sometimes limit the planning to the “C-Suite.”




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What is Business Succession Planning?

Without a concentrated effort on succession planning strategy, a business that has been successful can quickly fail if one or more of its key employees are lost. Succession planning must be a priority for every business and should be part of its strategic business plan.

Why is Business Succession Planning Important?

According to a survey conducted by the Corporate Leadership Council:

72% of companies predict they’ll have an increasing number of leadership vacancies over the next 3-5 years.
At the same time, 76% of respondents are “less than confident” in their abilities to staff these positions.
Companies that create an effective Succession Planning process:
  • Quickly anticipate and fill succession gaps
  • Identify employees with high management potential and actively plan their careers
  • Align their “people strategy” with their “business strategy”
  • An organization’s ability to meet these requirements creates the kind of leadership and management capacity that delivers sustainable business results.

How Ed Krow Helps You Create Your Succession Plan

My Succession Plans address both short-term emergency vacancies, as well as long-term retirement vacancies. As such, your senior management team will be consulted to determine the priorities and timeline of the training and development plans.

I also include a coaching element for the incumbents, which assists them in effectively implementing the Succession Plan. The input of the current key executives is critical to this process. The development plans designed must account for the ability to solve tomorrow’s problems. The value of the incumbents’ wisdom and years of experience with the organization cannot be understated.

The goal of this process is not to make current management replaceable, but to secure future leaders and the continuity, continued growth, and success of our clients.

I always encourage my clients to plan for both current AND future skills needs and to integrate the succession planning process with other human resources initiatives, such as performance management and organizational development.

My Succession Plans Are Typically Developed Through The Folowing Steps

  1. Identify legal and diversity issues to consider.
  2. Establish present and future leadership roles and objectives.
  3. Select key employees.
  4. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and readiness for succession in key employees.
  5. Plan for the individual talent development of and ways to retain key employees.
  6. Identify “emergency” positions without successors.
  7. Plan for positions that cannot be filled internally.

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Business Succession Planning Strategies

Key Questions to Ask

  • “What does my company value most about its leadership?”
  • “What improvements would I like to see?”
  • “What is our philosophy about leadership?”
  • “What leadership skills are crucial to company success?”

I develop succession plans by working with your senior management team to identify high-potential employees, evaluate and hone their skills and abilities, and prepare them for advancement into positions that are key to the success of business operations and objectives.

Ultimately, organizations need to find ways to help their high-potential, future leaders balance their work and personal lives. Generational influences also impact employees’ views on career and talent development. Smart companies consider these items when developing their organizational structures.

It is important to remember throughout the succession planning process that succession planning can be used to fill lateral positions as well.

How Ed Has Helped Other Businesses Create Their Succession Plans

I worked with Ed for years at UPS but this was the first time that I used his consulting services. He and his associate were really great. Came in on very short notice and were very professional. Also, they were flexible and as the investigation continued, we realized that we needed some additional information and support and they provided just what we needed! Great Job!

Tracy Newcomer

Vice President of Human Resources, Country Meadows

Ed Krow demonstrates an expertise, trust, and dependability above reproach. Over the past 7 years, I have called upon Ed to co-deliver a supervisory training program as well as refer him to several clients for various HR services. In each case, he provided great service – only adding value to the client and making my firm look good as well. I’d highly recommend Ed for HR consulting including general HR projects and especially affirmative action.

Ira Wolfe

President, Success Performance Solutions

I can not say enough good things about Ed! He is a wealth of knowledge, very thorough and quick to respond. I feel confident referring him to my clients and they continue to sing his praises. I would highly recommend Ed for any of your HR needs.

Julie Garrett

Senior Sales Consultant, INGROUP Associates

Ed’s Clients Include

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