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Succession Planning


A view is that this should be under the remit of HR together with input from line managers regarding successors.

I appreciate that L&D should have an involvement in coaching and preparing these individuals but should we be 'owning' it?
Sophie Edmond

4 Responses

  1. Succession Planning
    Hi Sophie

    My view is that line managers should own it and call upon HR/training for support in areas such as development plans, criteria etc. Of course this is pretty blue sky stuff because in reality, this sort of thing gets palmed off because it’s not seen as “urgent”

    Basically both should own their own clearly defined roles in succession planning


  2. The knowledge Managers also have a role to play
    For succession planning to be effective it really does have to be planned.The people who might take up the function need to be identified in advance and developed, not simply trained to take over the role. The knowledge manager is the person that understands the requirements of the role and the competences of the persons who might take over. Of couse in many organisations the role of the Knowledge Manager is taken up by the HR manager because of the size of the organisation.The knowledge manager would work closely with the line managers and take their views into consideration. The HR manager must own the activity but take account of the line manager and Knowledge manager.

  3. Succession Planning
    My own personal view is that the Line Mgr and HR co-own succession planning, driving it along with the top tier of Senior Mgrs/CEO/HR Director – ensuring it is filtered through the business to their direct line reports.
    However, Coaching, Training & Development (L&D) MUST act as a support structure, offering suggestions, interventions, 1:1 coaching for chosen individuals etc….
    Ultimately the Mgrs own the process, it is driven by them and Senior Mgrs, steered by HR/L&D + supported where needed by them.
    It can be dangerous making HR/L&D the owners, as the comments below point out, this takes responsibility away from the Mgrs & business, which is where the individuals have to be observed, encouraged, coached and developed.

    Good Luck,

  4. Succession Planning
    Hi Sophie, great timing! Yesterday I interviewed a client who has developed a fantastic talent pipeline in her business to find out what has really worked for her. I’ll be turning it into a case study over the next week or so and it will include her top ten tips.

    Her view is that it must be jointly owned by the operation and HR, and that it is important that whoever has resposibility for it in HR really knows the business well.

    Let me know if you’d like me to send the case study to you when it’s done.




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