Succession Planning

Why Succession Planning?

Continuity of high-performing leadership is critical to an organization’s success. Succession planning provides guidance toward that goal. Therefore, operating without a succession plan places the organization at serious risk. This is especially true if a key person leaves suddenly and unexpectedly. Identifying leaders who have the potential to take on critical roles can be a daunting task, but it is an important one.

What traits do you look for in a leader?


For most companies, cultivating a list of traits is much easier than evaluating internal and external talent against those traits. And the list of desirable traits will always grow, and your leaders need to grow too. SOLVE understands the psychology and mental structure behind good leadership.

Leaders are the people who shape the vision of a company and drive growth.  Finding the “perfect” leader for your organization by chance is unlikely.  SOLVE has multiple ways of helping you with the leadership dilemma.

When a company looks inward to find leaders, a lot of people come close, but just aren’t ready.  Using SOLVE’s expertise we can identify the people who not only have the desired traits of leadership, but the ambition to step into that role. SOLVE also helps incumbent leaders understand how to better engage with teams on a day to day basis.

Occasionally getting an outside viewpoint is equally beneficial. Our solutions help you identify what makes your successful leaders so successful.  By profiling your current leaders you can get a better picture of who to add to the mix.  Businesses who use SOLVE see greater success with external hires in the long run. With unparalleled expertise in personality, work style, values, and critical thinking assessments, combined with our proprietary, behavioral-based interviewing approach, we help our clients define the critical characteristics and advise on the best methods to accurately measure those characteristics.


See more:

Personality Assessments – How to Evaluate and Choose the Best
SOLVE’s Consumer Synopsis: Personality Assessments

Let SOLVE help you find the right person for each critical position in your organization. SOLVE’s unique approach blends succession-plan mapping with employee-development strategies that increase the likelihood of employee engagement, retention, and smooth transitions. SOLVE identifies high-potential successors and helps prepare them with the skills they’ll need for a successful transition.

SOLVE’s six-step approach to succession planning

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Step 1. Identify the organization’s vision

To identify talent, it’s essential to understand the company’s mission, vision, and values. These foundational elements serve as a guide for identifying the talent and skills needed in the future. SOLVE will develop an understanding of your organization’s direction and culture through discussions with leaders and a review of the mission statement, vision, and core values.

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Step 2. Build and maintain a culture that fosters employee development

Succession planning should move beyond a focus solely on replacement. Succession planning should be a long-term, continuous process that fosters a culture of employee development. When an organization builds this kind of culture,

  • it’s easier to identify high-potentials,
  • employees are better prepared to advance and help the company achieve its vision, and
  • employees feel more invested in the organization.

SOLVE will help develop a customized strategy for building and maintaining your organization’s development culture.

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Step 3. Identify the talent your organization needs

It’s impossible to create a succession plan and identify high-potentials without first considering what talent and skills are needed in the first place. To identify the talent you need, SOLVE will first help identify critical positions. Then, SOLVE will help identify the key competencies needed to achieve the organization’s vision, bolster the culture, and excel in critical roles – now and in the future.

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Step 4. Examine the talent your organization has  

To identify the current talent in your organization, SOLVE will help you get to know your people, their strengths, and their opportunities for development. SOLVE uses a variety of high-quality tools to capture a complete and accurate view of your employees including:

  • work style, personality, values, and critical-thinking assessments
  • multi-rater feedback (360s)
  • behavior-based interviews

Afterward, SOLVE provides in-depth reports for each participant to help facilitate their growth and development.

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Step 5. Fill the gaps between the talent your organization has and needs

Once we understand the talent you need and the talent you have, it’s time to fill in the gaps. SOLVE will facilitate the creation of individual development plans based on assessment results and leadership criteria. To facilitate execution and accountability, SOLVE will also identify strategies for individual development (e.g., coaching) and group development (e.g., group training). These development strategies can facilitate self-awareness, skill-building, and behavior change.

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Step 6. Create a succession planning map

Once we’ve established employee development strategies, SOLVE will help you create a succession planning map that makes it easy to keep track of your talent bench. The map outlines which key employees are leaving and when, which high-potentials could replace them (in either a planned or unplanned transition), and what skill development will be needed to ensure success. We’ll also help you keep the plan up to date to ensure high-potentials receive the development they need in advance.

Ready to put the “success” into succession planning?