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Why Succession Planning Will Grow Your Business

I recently read an article on succession planning in Forbes, and think it relates really well to the strategic planning I mention in The Prosperous Leader, Chapter 10: Use Smart Goals in Wise Planning. Creating successors is every manager’s job, no matter what the business. According to, succession planning can be defined as identification and development of potential successors for key positions within an organization.

Succession Planning works for a few reasons:

  • It’s less expensive to hire from within. You don’t need to worry about advertising or recruiter cost.

  • You don’t waste time training a new employee. Your productivity is extremely lessened when employees are using company time to sort through resumes, conduct interviews, and train a new employee.

  • You won’t be putting the company at risk. When you have employees wondering why they “aren’t good enough” to be promoted or thinking that opportunities are limited, you could have employees looking elsewhere for advancement.

A study in 2009 shows us that a little more than 60% of first level managerial positions and 52% of senior positions are hired from within. Just think of all the time and resources we are wasting!

“To make succession-planning a success, there are two inter-connected ingredients that need to be added to the mix,” states Ron Ashkenas, a contributor at Forbes. “The first is a genuine commitment, at every level of management, that identifying and developing bench strength is a critical leadership responsibility — and that managers need to be held accountable for making sure they have successors in place. The second ingredient is an active development process to prepare people for next-level jobs.”

The next time you are looking for an external recruit, be sure to look inward first: you may have the perfect fit already at your fingertips!

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