No matter the size of a business, it cannot be successful without talented people ready to occupy important positions when there is an exit, retirement, or death. Leaving key positions open within an organisation can have several detrimental effects, especially long-term vacancies. Operations will be affected without skilled people in these positions, and the organisation may experience delays in serving its customers.


Consequently, succession planning identifies and develops potential successors for key positions in an organisation through a systematic evaluation process and determines an organisation’s long-term success. It includes recruiting new talent or training existing employees to move into positions successfully. A good succession plan enables a smooth transition with less likelihood of disruption to business operations. By selecting successors in advance, an organisation can develop the right individuals who are prepared to lead once the need arises.


Most businesses incorporate succession planning for the following reasons:

  • To ensure business continuity
  • To avoid potential critical human resource gaps
  • To provide career pathways for existing talent within the organisation


Succession planning is an integral part of the talent management process, and it gives a way to identify critical roles and people with the right skills to fill these roles. Succession Planning has continued to gain popularity among companies in recent years. Major companies such as Nike and IBM have adopted succession planning strategies because it guarantees that the departure of an employee would not cripple the operations of the company and successors would know what to do once appointed. Succession Planning is a critical game-changer for organisations looking to groom future Executives. Candidates identified to fill future roles undergo assessments to measure their ability to manage complex management operations. However, there is no standard formula to conduct these assessments. Senior leaders use various tools to analyse the individual capability of the candidates. Such tools may include cognitive testing, team-based interviewing, and personality testing.


In today’s fast-paced business world, a lack of succession planning comes with tremendous costs and risks to organisations. Specifically, this may lead to lower quality of work, lower productivity, power struggle from employees for the vacant position, the appointment of a successor who lacks the drive, skills, integrity, influence, vision, experience, and educational qualifications for the role. By extension, businesses may be exposed to avoidable risks, particularly when it comes to critical roles.


To develop a fit-for-purpose Succession Planning Strategy, organisations should adopt the following strategic steps:



Identifying successors for critical positions is vital for any business, and it should be a fair and objective process. At pcl., we design and implement a robust and tailored succession planning process by understanding your current culture, strategy, goals, and challenges. We determine skills, competencies, and the qualities needed to excel in these positions for long term success. To learn more about how Phillips Consulting Limited can help you fill your succession pipelines through a transparent process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today by sending an email to


Written by:

Omotayo Afolabi

Senior Analyst