The Good Search is helping employers harness the power of information to address a significant gap in traditional succession planning. Most organizations focus only on internal talent that exists within the company. These days, focusing exclusively on internals is a real problem. There is not enough internal talent to build a robust bench.
External succession benches have become a growing necessity and a strategic imperative.
A Growing Necessity
Organizational hierarchies have flattened over the years. The number of managerial levels have decreased. With fewer levels, the rungs on the corporate ladder have stretched further apart. Consequently, when executives climb the corporate ladder, they step into new roles with drastic increases in responsibility and scope. Without intermediate levels to serve as corporate training wheels, it much easier for corporate executives to fail. Fewer internal successors combined with a higher risk of failure means there is only one place a company can go: outside. Companies also must enhance internal succession benches with potentials from the outside for bench strength. External succession benches are an effective way to tee up additional potential replacements for senior-level executives and to ensure continuity of leadership.
A Strategic Imperative
External succession benches provide companies with a current snapshot of the best executive talent available in the marketplace. That information enables companies to benchmark their senior executive team against externals interested in the C-level roles. External benches make it possible for companies to top-grade, switching out underwhelming executive leaders with those who outperform. Succession benches are also an effective way to conduct a confidential executive search when an incumbent in still in the role. Confidential searches must be handled with a high degree of discretion that would be impossible were the company were to try to conduct the search themselves. Clearly, there are multiple benefits to The Good Search succession benches. It pays to have a backup plan to your A-Players.