Over Planning Succession

By | March 7, 2007

Odds are you’re a teeny bit bored of ‘news’ stories about when Tony Blair will leave office, and whether Gordon Brown will take over smoothly, and if he does whether the electorate will vote for him.

The story has been going on a long time. It’s caused disruption and negative debate within the Labour Party and has brought decision making in the government close to a standstill. People thought they wanted a clear and straightforward transition of power over a period of time, but perhaps those people are now more careful about what they wish for.

Planning succession is important in the world of business, and organisations can learn from the difficulties that the Labour party now find themselves in. A successor was indeed identified, but in any other organisation the odds are after ten years he’ll have gone elsewhere to find a new role, though countries rarely appoint head hunters to find new heads of state!

Everyone assumed Gordon Brown was a shoo-in for Leader of the Labour Party, so no-one else has credibly risen to a point where they make themselves a natural candidate for the role. With no positive competition for the job, it’s unlikely that the person who gets it will be appreciated as the best candidate and supported as such.

Planning succession is important to the long term success of organisations, but over planning that succession, without taking account of changing circumstances and changing people, may be just as damaging as not planning at all.

To talk about how your organisation can take a positive approach to succession planning, one that provides continuity without stifling debate and innovation, Contact Us.

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