Miller's Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on strategy, operations, life balance and everything in between
Toronto – August 3, 2011 – We have all read recently that Federal NDP leader (and of course, leader of the official opposition) Jack Layton will be taking some time off from politics to deal with his health concerns. This is obviously an unfortunate situation for Mr Layton and we all wish him the best. However, it is also an unfortunate situation for a party who only recently took huge strides in popularity and became the official opposition party. How bad can this become if Layton does not come back? Just ask voters in Quebec, many of whom cannot name their MP and voted NDP purely because of Layton. Interim leadership of the party has been given to Quebec MP Nycole Turmel. This situation provides us a good lesson on why succession planning is important for any organization. Here are some important questions to consider as to why a succession plan is important and how to develop one:
- What would be the impact to the organization if the leader disappeared for three months? How would accountabilities be shared or delegated?
- What are the time lines for expected succession (when will the current leader step down)?
- What is the contingency plan if the current leader suddenly must vacate his or her post?
- Who are the top candidates to take over and how will a decision be made?
- What development activities need to take place in order for a smooth transition?
- Does the current organizational structure and business model support a leadership change?
These are only a few questions to consider, but it is never too early to think about succession planning because you never know in what direction life will go.
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