Involving a successor in all facets of the operation, from daily tasks to crafting a business plan, is crucial to a successful transition.
by Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University Extension economist
A CEO and successor must work together in the present to cultivate a future.
Successfully transitioning management involves three critical and often simultaneous processes: successor development; the transfer of management responsibility and authority; and the exit of the current CEO.
Businesses that have effectively made the transition have completed the following 10 steps:
- An assessment of the needs of the business for the present and the future. This includes determining the management skills and attributes necessary to keep the business thriving.
- An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the current CEO. This includes an assessment of the CEO’s ability to teach and mentor the successor in the areas identified in the business assessment.
- An objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the successor.
- Open, honest and mature two-way communication.
- The creation of a management development plan that addresses the successor’s strengths and weaknesses; experience; respon-sibility; training; and honest/objective evaluation and feedback.
- Planned experience, exposure and networking opportunities for the successor, not just outside the business but also outside the industry.
- The development of a common vision for the business, now and in the future.
- An ongoing delegation of responsibility and authority, with a specific time line.
- Including the successor in the development of the business plan and in the strategic planning and decision-making process.
- Implementing a plan for what the current CEO is going to do next.
- Legacy Project 2011 Report