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7 Steps to Ensure Your Succession Plan Achieves Success

Updated: Apr 28

Hit by a bus. Won the lottery. Retired early. Got a better job. There are a million reasons why someone may be at work one day, and then gone the next. Life happens…but what also happens is that the departure, for whatever reason, leaves a void in the workplace and that void could be costly. Studies show that poorly executed succession and transition plans for CEOs and C-suite executives cost S&P 1500 companies almost $1 trillion each year. It’s a serious issue that not only impacts senior-level executives. It impacts every level of an organization whereas every manager, supervisor, and leader should have a plan, a process, and a pipeline in place for a smooth and successful succession.


At ON Point, we know that leaders are trying to manage and/or mitigate a myriad of daily dramas and it can be challenging to not only think about, but to plan for, the future. But that is exactly what a succession plan is – it’s spending the time looking into a crystal ball, anticipating what the team and organization are going to need in the future, creating a plan with clear action steps, and then executing the plan to completion. It’s not easy, but it is necessary. Leaders need to be able to think critically and strategically, navigate various hypothetical scenarios, and connect the dots in a way that sets everyone up for success.


No one stays in one position forever, and ambitious professionals want to know there is a path and an opportunity for career advancement. Succession planning is not just in case someone wins the Mega-Powerball and never shows up again – it’s a critical process for those proactive leaders and organizations looking to get to the next level.


Follow the ON Point Action Plan to ensure that your succession plan is a success.

7 Steps to Make Your Succession Plan a Success

  1. Plan & Pivot – create, implement & execute a successful succession plan that works & pivot & adjust along the way

  2. Think Ahead – look into the future & think about what skills the team, organization, industry & world will need in 3-5 years

  3. Spot a Star – evaluate & assess the talent on the team using structured 1:1s, HR competency tools & other success metrics

  4. Align Aspirations – understand the career goals of each team member to know if they are even interested in your position at some point

  5. Train & Develop – get them ready by investing in skills training, leadership development, finding a mentor, shadowing & stretch assignments

  6. Get Out of Your Head – share the knowledge that exists in your head by putting it down on paper, making it accessible, usable & transferable

  7. Communicate the Plan – a successful succession plan should not be a secret; it’s an ongoing conversation with clear expectations & timeframes

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