Richard Ghilarducci Talks About the Importance of Succession Planning

At the moment, a large number of leadership positions in companies across distinctive sectors are occupied by boomers. As these boomers get ready for retirement, the looming loss of intellectual capital may devastate businesses that are not preparing emerging leaders to fill the leadership gap. Hence, it becomes vital for firms to be proactive about succession management and focus on grooming the next generation of business leaders. Varying business leaders tend to take on distinctive approaches to achieving this goal. For instance, Richard Ghilarducci, CEO of Humboldt Creamery, has implemented a plan to have a half day meet once a month with “Young Up-and-Comers” — young representatives from each of the company’s distinctive departments.

Richard Ghilarducci marks the importance of succession planning

Having a robust succession plan for primary roles in a company is vital for maintaining its standards and ensuring a high level of performance. A succession plan is important for easing transition phases with little or no interruptions, especially in case of unplanned departure. Gaining a good understanding of succession planning is crucial for a company to maintain or improve its present staff. There are many factors that make succession planning an important practice for discerning businesses, including:

  • Talent management: Succession planning provides a valuable means of identifying individuals who have the necessary skills and capabilities to fill important roles in a company, particularly if there is an unexpected turn of events. The planning process also includes mentoring and training for potential candidates, which can benefit the business in the long term.
  • Reduced cost of recruitment: Succession planning offers a good avenue to save money, especially if a company is able to keep recruitment within the organization. The company can further save on the expenses linked to promoting a job opening or undertaking a thorough interview and employee onboarding process.
  • Adequate preparation for retirement: As a capable professional retires, there would be a huge loss in intellectual property at a company. Succession planning helps a company to transfer the necessary information to a younger employee in an efficient manner.
  • Opportunity for younger employees: The process of succession planning provides younger employees who think they can fill leadership roles with the opportunity to declare their interest and intent. Well rounded succession planning goes a long way in helping a company to identify potential leaders who have the skills necessary for management roles and start to train and prepare them.
  • Opportunity to ensure diversity in management roles: Proper succession planning would enable a company to survey its management roles and maintain good diversity. They would be staffed with a diverse range of employees for various roles, which help ensure continued success.
  • Easy transition process: For companies of diverse types and sizes, the transition phase between employees is usually difficult with reduced productivity. However, with a good succession plan, one would be in a better position to facilitate a smooth transition while maintaining or improving performance during that period.

Companies that are not able to develop their emerging leaders risk losing that top talent to competitors that actually do have a succession plan and leadership development strategy in place. As Richard Ghilarducci underlines, the majority of renowned business leaders give credit to a mentor for passing on key leadership competencies. Mentoring plays a vital role in engaging employees to commit to a company, and become a part of the succession pipeline.