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Successors at the ready

Oct 07, 20032 mins
Data Center

* Study shows very few top companies recognize the necessity of having a succession plan

One of your responsibilities as an IT leader is to have people ready to step into your job and other senior roles when you get promoted or move on to another company. However, only 25% of the world’s top companies recognize the necessity of having a succession plan, according to the results of a study from business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information.

“CEO succession planning is only the starting point for succession throughout the organization,” Cutting Edge CEO Jason Richardson says. “If a succession plan is implemented throughout all levels of the company, future positions are easier to fill in the long-run.”

Cutting Edge’s report, “Succession Planning For Results,” focuses on innovative practices from more than 35 companies across 20 industries. Companies such as Dow Chemical, General Electric and Viant have developed solid strategies for building succession plans that support corporate goals.

The 143-page report costs $995, but you can download an eight-page summary that includes sample metrics on succession planning as well as best practices from industry leaders. Go to

for the download, which requires you to complete a registration form.

And if it’s less expensive advice you’re after, a good place to start is the Network World article, “Grooming your successor.” In it, you’ll learn how IT executive are working with employees to identify future job opportunities within the company. (Find it at

Here’s an abbreviated version of the tips writer Mark Kindley offers in his article:

* Get the CEO’s commitment.

* Ensure staff thinks about who can succeed them.

* Establish well-defined job descriptions and identify the core competencies needed to perform them.

* Enlist participation from the top performers.