Case Studies: Succession Planning

Case 1: Developing Tomorrow's Leaders

The director of human resources of a manufacturing firm was planning to retire in three years after 20 years of service. The president and director of human resources requested a meeting to discuss a strategic process to replace the director, preferably from within the company.

To establish a course of action, extensive interviews were conducted with the president and executive team focusing on the future direction of the business, as well as the competencies and attributes of future employees. The Hallmarks of Excellence® in Leadership was administered to the director to assess her strengths. A benchmark of competencies and attributes was constructed from the assessment results and analysis of research data derived from the interviews.

Five prospective internal candidates were administered the Hallmarks of Excellence® in Leadership. Their results were mapped to the benchmark and the top three were identified as strong prospects to replace the director upon her retirement.

Targeted developmental plans and advanced responsibilities were designed for each candidate. Each candidate was monitored and evaluated so that the most qualified candidate emerged as the next director of human resources.

Case 2: Leadership Succession

The owner and founder of a small, privately-held company sought help in transitioning from daily operational oversight to a track that would allow him to retire within three years. The designated leadership team was untrained and under-prepared, and admittedly the owner/founder was banking much of his retirement on the ongoing and future earnings of the company.

The designated leadership team underwent the Hallmarks of Excellence® in Leadership so that a baseline understanding of their leadership and management competencies could be determined. The findings revealed significant needs in leadership, management, and team training, as well as insights into role assignments to best align future leaders with their anticipated preparedness.

An aggressive training and coaching strategy was implemented to equip the designated leaders to assume senior leadership capability within three years.