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Is your organization rigorous about succession planning?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Is your organization rigorous about succession planning?

  • Yes. We have a thorough process for succession planning: 10%
  • Kind of. We do succession planning only for key roles: 38%
  • No. When there’s a hole, we’ll figure it out: 52%

Waiting for a crisis. It’s scary to think that over half of you don’t have a plan for what happens when someone departs your organization. A key player going down can cause massive disruptions to your business, lost customers, operational risks and a host of other issues. Leaders are responsible for the smooth operation of their organization. This means sitting down and doing contingency planning for events they know will happen. Every person will leave their role whether to quitting, promotion or reorganization. Spend some time laying out a backup plan for when each team member departs. It’ll help you fill those open spots more quickly when the crisis eventually occurs.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”