Large family owned business organizations are usually governed by family members as well. Hence, when the succession needs to be dealt with, the management team as well as the board of directors of the said organization duly perform procedures of plans and preparations. At some point, the planning needs to take place even before a member of the organization passes on. This means that those who are leaving the positions could still vote upon the choosing of the successors. This would then allow them to reevaluate the capabilities of the people who are remaining as candidates to the position whether they are really capable of handling the job or not.
This then means that the obligation of withstanding the challenges of choosing the right personnel for the position being vacated by a certain company authority does not only rely on the managers alone. Instead, it relies on the different sectors of the organization as to who they think should have the liberty of taking the job position being offered to them.
Who Should Be Involved
Primarily, when a position is passed on to a certain personnel, the interim of the title does not only involve a change on the level of authority. It also includes a strong impact on the responsibilities that are primarily heightened which the chosen personnel should choose. The fact that the one succeeding in the position is a family member is not the only basis of the choices made by the authorities. Although it is one of the primary requirements, especially if a single family governs the business, there are still elemental factors that should be considered when choosing a successor of the organization.
This is the particular reason why there should at least be an involvement of the different department heads of the business organization when the decision of choosing the taking over of the next generation business leaders would be proceeded upon. The said sectors of consideration are as follows:
- Financial Office: the turnover of the financial statements as well as the major financial issues of the organization should be within the ability of the successor to understand. It is not held secret to all that financial statements and issues are not that easy to comprehend with especially when the upcoming leader has no background in the transactions of the organization yet.
- Human resources Office: one of the primary responsibilities of the successors is to take over the left over responsibilities of the other authorities with regards the organizational arrangement for the human resources. The ability of the chosen personnel to deal with the different issues concerning the people force of the organization shall indeed give him a reputable and respectable name not only within the organization but also within the entire business industry that they are dealing with. Indirectly too, this particular aspect of management strategy may be the best possible way of empowering the whole organization towards business success.
- External Affairs Office: it should occur within the knowledge of the successor that it is among the responsibilities vested upon him by the organization directors to at least represent the organization in several business occasions in an aim of making a name for the business outside the business industry.
- Legal Consultancy and Advising office: Although the successors on position are not much expected to have a clarified and in-detail understanding of the business laws as well as with the laws connecting the business to the society, it is at least expected that he knows what he is doing and that when serious legal situations come into picture, he would not be caught up in the middle of nowhere not knowing what to do without a legal adviser, otherwise, he would become a liability to the organization when serious situations arrive.
From this particular part of the discussion, it could be noted that the successors are expected not only to have the capability to rule, but they also need to gain at least and ample knowledge to support their ideas of leadership as well as their strategies of management which they are particularly planning to use when they are already in the position of doing so.
It could also be noticed that they should posses certain flexibility in terms of being involved within the operations of the organization especially regarding financial and external affairs issues. Their involvement upon these operations shall help them identify what still needs to be expanded or developed within the system of business procedures.
To be able to clearly present the said situation, the diagram that follows shall clarify the discussion:
From the diagram shown above, the identification of the integrated role of the four major offices of departments of function within an organization could be defined to have a strong impact on the process by which the successors are chosen. However, when choosing the successor, the authorities form the said four departments are expected to follow some guidelines in scaling the capability of those who are vying for the positions being vacated by several company authorities.
Elements of a Succession Plan Policy
According to website of transition guides, the following are the primary guidelines of application that could be utilized in assisting an organization assure of its progress through the process of succession.
- Statement of commitment to prepare for inevitable leadership change.
- Statement of commitment to assess leadership needs before beginning a search.
- Plan to appoint interim leadership to ensure smooth operations and compliance with contractual obligations.
- Outline of succession procedures including:
- internal management succession to the interim position,
- time frame for making the interim appointment,
- time frame for appointing a board transition committee, and
- roles of the transition committee, e.g., communication with stakeholders, identifying a transition management consultant, conducting an organizational assessment and designing the search plan.
(Source: Strategic Succession Planning. http://www.transitionguides.com/eds/succession.htm.)
From the sample policies shown above, it could be observed that it is very important to consider the character of the successors, their motivation in the job that they are about to take and their personal motives with regards the position being given to them as an option for business progress. Their capabilities should also be well scaled as those capabilities particularly show how they are going to be able to meet the challenges of the business industry. It is very important that the ones who are appointed to take the chance in choosing who should be the next leaders of the organization would take into consideration that they are indeed not only making decisions for themselves but for the whole company as well.
Positional succession is particularly designed to put a certain business organization in constant progression. This particularly happens when the successors are able to put the organization in such a state that it is set for advancement in the future. As the leaders change, the procedural operations also progress. As for this matter, it is then considerably reasonable enough to place special concerns on the procedures taken to plan on who the successors of the higher offices in the organization would be. The future success of the organization lies in this particular planning at present.
To conclude, the words of Bryan Hattingh read:
“Succession planning, as it is constituted today, is a hotly debated but generally ignored practice in corporations and businesses. Most managers fail to think about succession planning until it needs to be implemented. Suddenly there is a void at the top and nobody has been primed to fill it. Few events have such an impact on a company as the departure of key leaders, in particular the CEO. How that exit is managed not only has lasting impact on the organisation, but also it can affect external perceptions of the departing incumbent’s effectiveness and delivery.” (http://www.themanager.org/Strategy/Succession_planning_success.htm.)
This is the primary reason why there is a strong need for organizations to be able to plan ahead on who should take over several key positions in the organization even in secrecy so as not to create chaos within the organization and the candidates for the said positions. Hence, in this case, when secrecy of the decision is needed, the board of directors are the ones held responsible for the procedures of choosing their own successors.
TransitionGuides. (2005). Succession Planning. http://www.transitionguides.com/eds/succession.htm. (May 24, 2007).
Bryan Hattingh. (2004). Put success into succession planning. http://www.themanager.org/Strategy/Succession_planning_success.htm. (May 24, 2007)
Paul Shearstone. (2005). The Art of Succession Planning. http://www.themanager.org/Strategy/Succession_Planning.htm. (May 24, 2007).
Katherine Spencer Lee. (2007). Succession Planning: Why CIOs Need It, And How To Do It. http://www.themanager.org/Strategy/Succession_Planning.htm. (May 24, 2007).