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Effective Succession Planning

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Effective Succession Planning

Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Don’t wait until your leaders leave to think about how you’ll replace them.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


In exhaustive detail William J. Rothwell shows you the hows and whys of succession planning and management in this second edition of his landmark book. Given the general corporate predilection for systems and bureaucracies, top executives and managers of both large and small businesses will revel in the way Rothwell lays out his well-researched plan. His ample how-to lists and charts can be adapted to fit almost any industry. Despite the author’s scholarly credentials and depth of information, his writing is not academic. recommends this book to executives and managers, particularly if your company doesn’t already have a succession plan.


Succession Planning and Management

Businesses have always needed some form of succession planning. After all, no one lives forever, or heads a company or a division forever. Now more than ever, succession planning is a must. Because rapid turnover has become a way of life in corporate circles - from the top down through every level of employment - businesses that don’t plan strategies for meeting their future talent needs will face disruption when key employees retire or leave.

Every business needs to create, revitalize or even re-evaluate its succession planning and management (SP&M) program. A proven, step-by-step approach can ensure that you:

  • Identify competencies and clarify values for planning and managing succession.
  • Plan for and quickly fill crucial vacancies at all levels.
  • Develop and retain top talent.
  • Build and preserve your organization’s intellectual capital.
  • Assess current needs and future resources.
  • Use online and other technological tools to organize and implement SP&M programs.
  • Anticipate - not just react to - changes in the increasingly variable business environment.


About the Author

William J. Rothwell, Ph.D., is professor of human resources development at Pennsylvania State University and director of Penn State’s Institute for Research in Training and Development. The former assistant vice president and management development director for The Franklin Insurance Company, he is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books, including Beyond Training and Development, Strategic Human Resource Leader and The Action Learning Guidebook.

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