What Is Succession Planning?

Succession Planning

Succession planning is the ongoing process of finding and nurturing talent to fill the key leadership positions in your company once the incumbents leave. This strategy for allocating future leadership roles can help companies avoid the risk of a sudden vacancy causing disruption to the work of the board.

Objectives of succession planning

Succession planning is a vital component of corporate governance. It enables companies to achieve the following:


Effective succession planning guarantees the smooth transitioning of leadership roles, such as the CEO or chairperson, within a company. Potential successors are identified and developed ahead of time to make sure they are ready to take charge if a leadership position suddenly becomes vacant.

Talent development

This contingency plan allows companies to create a pipeline of talented, capable leaders. It strengthens the process of nurturing skilled individuals, aligning their growth with upcoming business requirements.

Risk mitigation

Replacement planning reduces the risk of a sudden key position vacancy disrupting business flow. If that occurs, individuals from a pool of skilled candidates are ready to assume charge.

Strategic alignment

Succession planning aligns with the company’s strategic goals to ensure that future leaders have what it takes to drive the company’s mission forward.


Succession planning involves the following critical steps:

  • Assess talent pools: Assess your internal candidates to identify those with special skills and leadership capabilities. 
  • Identify potential successors: Narrow down the list by also identifying external candidates with the potential to fill future leadership roles. Assess their performance, talents, leadership traits and growth possibilities.
  • Develop talent: Nurture the talents of potential successors by offering individual training programmes. Focus on developing leadership skills and increasing knowledge about key business operations. You can also assign mentors to enhance their competencies and transfer critical expertise.
  • Monitor progress: Conduct regular reviews to analyse the performance and progress of chosen candidates. Offer guidance along the way and adjust the plan as needed.

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