The executive team at a North American manufacturing company sat quietly in the boardroom, wondering what the urgent meeting was all about. They soon found out — the company's senior engineer was leaving immediately to work for a competitor. It was a significant blow to the company, since he was directing the implementation of a new, critically important production process. His departure could mean disrupted assembly lines, insufficient inventory levels, and delayed customer shipments.
The first order of business was crisis management — including scrambling to find someone to take his place. The second was coming up with a longer-range plan for succession management, both to retain people in critical roles and to make sure successors are in place.
To avoid such nightmare scenarios, many organizations are taking action on succession management. Two simple steps can go a long way:
- Connecting succession management and career development processes
- Rolling out succession beyond the executive level