Succession Planning

Organisations know that losing effective leaders or managers with their experience, product knowledge and contacts can have a big impact on the company’s performance.Succession Plan

They also know that, for various reasons such as career advancement, health, retirement, people will leave and take their skills and knowledge with them.

This is why organisations make Succession Planning a vital part of the management process.

In Toastmasters, where we replace all our leaders every year – from the club level right through to the international board, succession planning becomes even more vital. Often we only have one year in which to learn our role and achieve the required goals. Then suddenly we are handing over to our successor!

We don’t want to be scrabbling at the end of our term, desperate to find someone, anyone, who will take on the job. What we do want is to know that the effort we’ve put in can and will be built on by our successor.

So when should we start looking for our successor? Well, the best time to plan who will be your successor is even before you take over the role. Look at those around you – ‘what do you see in them’ in terms of leadership ability. Often others don’t see themselves as leaders; don’t recognise their own skills or abilities and therefore don’t consider taking on a leadership role.

When we recognise others’ skills, tell them what we see and ask if they would consider being an assistant or chairing a committee, it can open a path they haven’t considered.

It also means you can start to develop their knowledge and understanding about your role; show them what a wonderful support team there is; show them that you can have fun in a leadership role. Then, when it comes time to find a successor they are less likely to be daunted or frightened by it.

Do you have a succession plan in place? Have you involved a number of potential leaders in your team and asked them to take on a role as your assistant or asked them to chair a project or committee?

Congratulations if you have – this is wonderful leadership. If not, can we encourage you to give it serious thought. As Area or Division Governor you probably have specific goals you want to achieve – this could be membership growth, clubs back to charter strength, new club opportunities. Being your assistant, or chairing a committee which tackles a specific goal, allows a fellow Toastmaster to play a vital part in the Area or Division’s success as well as become familiar with your role!

The District Nominating Committee will be calling for nominations for Area, Division and District roles between November 2014 and February 2015. Who will build on your hard work?

Marilyn Freeman

Chairman – D.69 Nominating Committee 2014-15

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