Ensure Leadership Succession

Even in times of economic turmoil, companies are losing leaders faster than they can replace them, according to a study released by Catalyst. This results in skill gaps in many areas and challenges for CEOs in seeing their initiatives and strategies executed in a timely manner, such as quickly expanding into new markets when opportunities emerge. It is no wonder that preparing top talent to fill these positions has become a strategic priority. Continuity in leadership is critical and the best succession plans focus on grooming high potentials from within the company. Research shows that CEOs chosen from inside the organization perform better than outsiders.

That’s why many companies do more than succession planning on paper; they actually engage in succession development with their high potentials and strong contributors to ensure they have bench strength. According to executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, succession plans do not develop anyone – only development experiences can develop executives.

The Appreciative Coaching® solution is especially supportive of HR managers and their company’s need for succession development because it builds high level interpersonal competencies

  • Competence in using collaboration as an essential skill in building common purpose and unity. (Top executives consider collaboration to be the #1 conflict management skill needed at their level.)
  • Competence in the ability to stretch and move beyond problems and familiar ways of thinking into new directions.
  • Competence in generating and inspiring positive change in oneself and others.
  • Competence in affirming the best about self and others.

for the next generation of leaders to succeed.

Ian’s Story

When Ian started Appreciative Coaching®, he was a young, enthusiastic high potential leader in a medical system. He was head of one of the hospitals in the system but was aiming for a Regional President position. To date, he had been overlooked as a candidate. The coaching plan was to assess his capabilities against senior executives through 360 interviews with C-Suite and board member respondents. While risky, this approach gave the interview respondents the opportunity to visualize Ian as a candidate for the Regional President position. The result was wildly successful – not only did it provide an opportunity for both Ian and the system’s leadership to more clearly see his capabilities and potential, it also saved the corporation the time and cost involved in bringing on an executive outsider. Ian’s promotion also served as a positive example of the merits of succession development.