Succession Planning: Identifying and Developing Talent

Right now, in communities, towns, and cities across the nation, there are company owners and operators who are staring down retirement with no succession plan in place. For these people, and others who are younger but no wiser, yesterday was a good day to start planning for the succession of your business and/or business leadership. But it’s not too late.

Our guide, Anatomy of a Succession Plan, by myself, Gordon Advisors' Chief Operating Officer Jeff Farrington, MSM, and Principal Hannah Thoms, CPA, MSF, CFP®, offers a wealth of information to help you assess and train for internal succession, whether it’s in the near future, or years away.

Even if you’re behind in planning, there are things you can do right now to begin internal succession planning. And number one among those is singling out your best and most promising employees and helping them develop their leadership skills.

As a business owner, you have probably seen a lot of great employees come and go. While we all wish we could keep every exceptional employee we hire forever, sometimes we don’t realize how good they are until they’re gone. When it comes to succession planning, in particular planning for internal succession, identifying and developing leadership quality employees is absolutely key to achieving your goals.

Anatomy of a Succession Plan takes you through a series of actions well-defined by financial experts to help you consider your human capital and create the plan and goals for your company’s succession. It begins with an assessment of your management team using a simple but thorough matrix that will help you identify potential. Next is a look at necessary training and some of the fears that may come along with grooming an employee for a top position. Third are career development activities that may be useful to develop leadership skills, and the final aspect is mentoring: the giving of institutional knowledge by current leadership—you!

Our succession planning guide tackles some of the tough questions about internal business succession, maintaining control, keeping top employees, and sharing knowledge. For those looking instead to sell the company there is additional information explaining the process and recommending best practices.

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