Leaders often struggle to think strategically about the future leadership structure of the organization. They find it overwhelming to create a game plan that will set the organization up for long-term success.

I often use a process of developing three organizational charts as a tool for strategic planning.

  1. Identify current positions and responsibilities with names of those in the positions today.
  2. Future (3-5 years out): Create your best-case organizational chart with no names. List responsibilities for each role. Identify those that are core (vital to maintain internally) versus those that are a commodity (could be outsourced).
  3. Future forecasts: Take the future state chart and add people’s names  who are currently capable or have potential to grow into the role within next 3 years.  Don’t be afraid to leave gaps.

The first two organizational charts could be public, allowing for broad input; the third should be shared only with the top leadership.

These organizational charts provide a blueprint for succession as people move in and out of the organization. When there is a change in any leadership role, review and revise the third chart. Use this chart to create a strategy for continually developing your high potential leaders. What combination of experience, training, coaching and mentoring will prepare them for their next role?

Succession planning ensures the future of the organization by identifying future gaps and opportunities, ensuring continued success.

What succession planning strategies have you executed? Comment below or message us.


Photo by Mark Rabe on Unsplash.