Succession Planning: It’s All About Fit

A look of terror washed over the face of my CEO client after I asked her, “Who in your organization is best suited to take over after you exit?”  It was then that she realized she didn’t have anyone on her team that she felt had the necessary skills, knowledge, and leadership traits to take over the company.


Not one person came to mind as someone who could protect and ensure the survivability and thrive-ability of the culture and brand that she had worked so hard to build over the last few decades.  In an attempt to quiet her panic, I quoted an old proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago… the second best time is today…”


Succession planning is like getting a line of credit… its best to do it BEFORE you need it, because it’s going to be a lot harder to accomplish amidst a crisis.


In science, an ion is something that positively or negatively charges a molecule.  If that molecule is the future success of your company, then it’s critical to make sure it’s positive… (Success + ion)…


We’ve discussed how 85% of success is attitude, but that seems awfully anecdotal…  Attitude is important, no doubt, but when designing a plan for the future success of an organization, it’s hard to manage it, if we can’t measure it.


How do we measure culture?  Can we put some numbers around that measurement?  Why does culture fit matter?


Well, 90% of new hires fail due to culture fit (HBR).  New hires are the future of the organization.  And talent retention is crucial because turnover is extremely expensive- up to five times the salary of the departed employee (SHRM) and it’s bad for morale.  Bad morale erodes engagement, which costs the bottom line up to 40% in productivity (Gallup).


Companies with highly engaged workforces have 150% more earnings per share, 50% less accidents, and 41% lower healthcare costs (Towers-Watson).  And lastly, “For senior leaders, fit matters more than skill.” (HBR)


Ok, we put some numbers around why fit matters, but how do we measure fit?  Every company is unique…


Wouldn’t be great if there was a solution that would help you determine what’s required to be successful for every position you have in your company?  Something that specifically identifies the drives needed to succeed for each role?  A solution that aligned stakeholders to pinpoint what is vital to be a rock-star in every job, specific to your unique company, brand, and culture?


A bonus would be if this solution could also be used to hire best-fit candidates, retain best-fit employees, and discover high-potential leaders within your organization:  Leaders who can carry your company into the future and ensure its success with or without you.


The solution is called The Predictive Index (PI).  It’s how I replaced the terror on my client’s face with peace of mind.  PI demystifies succession planning and offers actionable data and scientifically-validated analytics as a roadmap to cure anxiety around unplanted trees and ensures that the ion charging your future success is positive.