Common mistakes of succession planning

“Leadership matters. So does continuity of leadership. One principal responsibility of a leader – whatever the institution – is to prepare his or her successor. Beyond that, leaders need to be sure that there are willing and worthy successors ready for all major – and minor – positions within their empire. Perhaps the definitive model of developing a leadership pipeline in the corporate world has been GE, which has not only carefully prepared its own chief executive officer and senior leaders with remarkable effectiveness, but also groomed many who have gone off to use their talents in other companies,” writes Harvey Schachter for the Globe and Mail.

Schachter continues, “Noel Tichy, a professor at the University of Michigan and long-time researcher on succession, played a key role in that leadership process when he accepted former CEO Jack Welch’s 1985 request to head the firm’s management development institute at Crotonville, N.Y.In his new book Succession, Prof. Tichy suggests that the poster boy for how not to handle succession might be Hewlett-Packard, which kept reaching outside for CEOs who seemed glowing but proved flawed, most famously when they recruited and then fired Carly Fiorina. HP lurched for Leo Apotheker, who had been tossed out of SAP for high-handed and erratic behaviour, without most of the 12 board members even interviewing him.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


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