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Succession Planning for Leaders Training

From $3050 per attendee

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Available Courses

  • Houston

    2 September, 2024 - 3 September, 2024

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  • Dubai

    21 October, 2024 - 22 October, 2024

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  • London

    4 November, 2024 - 5 November, 2024

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  • Online

    18 November, 2024 - 19 November, 2024

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Course Information

Day 1 

Session 1: What Is SP?    – Defining It 

  • Understanding the Strategic Nature of SP-The fact that it needs to be part of the Business Plan but it often Isn’t which may lead to less effective outcomes. 

– Example Business Plan hand out to be used for as a short, Group Exercise to identify their business’s SP requirements.

– Getting Delegates to Share what they think their company’s SP requirements and needs are. 

  • Brief History of SP and how the emphasis has changed from a purely ‘planning’ activity to a development activity

Exercise/Discussion on why it needed to change 

  • Understanding the key elements: identifying high potential people (‘bench strength’), forming talent pools, identifying key current and future positions to be filled, assessment techniques, recruitment policies, coaching and mentoring etc.

– Exercise/discussion – getting delegates to share which elements they   have in place and which elements they still need to introduce 

  • Introducing the idea that there is no single formula for success – each company’s SP design is unique; based on the culture and political environment.

– Exercise in Syndicate Groups to define SP and present back to the   whole group to arrive at an agreed, working definition. 

Session 2: Why Is SP So Critically Important To Today’s Successful Businesses?

  • Introducing the idea that there is today a ‘Fierce ‘War For Talent’ on a global scale.

– Group Discussion about why it is so challenging to recruit the right, top talent today

– High recruitment costs eg: agency fees

– Companies still often ‘outsource’ their SP to recruitment agencies at considerable cost with poor results sometimes.

-Top talent often chooses the ‘highest bidder’

  • What does research on SP tell us?

– It suggests that 70% of US and European businesses recognize that    SP will be one of its single biggest challenges over the next 10 years

– But it also suggests that leaders developed from within tend to be on average, between two and six times more successful than external    recruits

  • Why Have So Many Businesses Not Invested in SP yet?

– Short Syndicate Group Discussion Exercise

–  Answer – Is that many businesses don’t realize that they have many of the necessary SP elements in place. Their challenge is to integrate them into a single, dynamic operational system

– The good news is that to set up a comprehensive and effective system usually does not require a major investment

  • What Are The Benefits?

– Increased engagement and motivation

– Improved Retention

– BUT the biggest is that by creating and developing a high potential talent pool, companies can respond to new, emerging growth opportunities eg: an acquisition, with agility and flexibility.

Session 3: How To Design And Implement SP?

Stage 1 – Clarifying your business strategy and aligning your SP to create the talent to achieve it 

– Using a real business strategy, case study for delegates to analyze and then suggest what its SP requirements are – creating an overall list of agreed requirements

– Starting with the ‘big picture’ and gradually, throughout the rest of the course, ’drilling into the detail’

Stage 2 – Engaging with your senior leadership team (SLT) 

– Clarity about the three objectives of doing this:

  1. The SLT should be responsible for identifying high potential, future leaders – the emerging talent pool.
  2. It should also be responsible for the structure of he organization and identifying the key roles and positions within it that it should eventually fill with candidates from the new, talent pool.
  3. The SLT should not only maintain oversight for the corporate SP project but also be fully committed to its own, ‘hands on” involvement: providing mentoring and possibly coaching to members of the talent pool throughout the programme. Understanding that without the SLT commitment the SP programme will fail

– Using the Nine Box Grid (NBG) 

One of the best methods to facilitate the SLT Discussion and decision making to make the initial selection of candidates for the new talent pool.

– Pair Group Exercise – delegates will learn to use the NBG by working through each Box and inserting the names of actual people from their company according to their personal judgement of their leadership potential. 


Stage 3 – Defining the critical competencies required to undertaking the key roles successfully.

– Understanding the need for a robust, objective and consistent set of performance criteria or competencies to make relatively accurate and sound judgments about potential candidates for the SP programme.

– Syndicate group exercise using a real, case study competency framework for delegates to understand the basics of developing a leadership competency framework – interviews, focus groups, the critical incident technique etc. 

– Delegates will create a small example of a competency framework for their company.

Stage 4 – Candidate Assessment Using Competency Based Criteria

– Learning that after an initial candidate assessment via the NBG, there is a need to assess candidates objectively. Best practice suggests that the use of multiple assessment techniques is most effective. These will include:

  1. A case study example hand-out of a real, competency based, 360 degrees review process that can be used to provide stand alone, individual feedback or feedback in a Development Centre
  2. The use of psychometric tools like personality, ability and motivational tests – real examples will be presented
  3. The essential use of Development Centres – all candidates assessed together as group using trained assessors to evaluate individual performances on a series of competency based, exercises.

– Candidates need to ’pass’ in order to become a member of the talent pool

Day 2 

Session 5: How to Implement SP? 

Stage 5 – Building and Developing the Talent Pool 

  • The shift from succession planning to succession management over the last 10 years.

–  Discussion about why the development of the talent pool is now seen as more critical than the previous planning stages.

– What are the most important development activities?

  • Creating individual personal development plans (PDP’s) that act as a route map, guide and provide clear objectives for each candidate’s learning process as members of the talent pool.

–  Exercise,- delegates will create a brief version of their own development needs in a PDP 

  • The use of secondments and temporary projects within the business that will provide candidates with new and powerful learning experiences about how the company works as well as developing their own skills and knowledge.

– Delegates will do an exercise to identify current, suitable, potential secondments and temporary projects within their own   business. 

  • The limited use of either internal or externally provided training courses to address particular skills development.
  • Understanding that the most important development activity of all is coaching and mentoring because they are always focused exclusively on the individual’s objectively identified development needs
  • Understanding the difference between coaching and mentoring?

– Identifying who provides it – much of it by the SLT?

  • How to make it cost effective?

Session 6: A Succession Planning Case Study 

  • A real case study exercise that the facilitator helped to direct

– Syndicate group exercise to identify the potential strengths and weaknesses of the project 

Session 7: Creating Your Own Succession Plan 

  • As the final piece of ‘action learning’, it is important for delegates to apply what they have learnt by creating a ‘first draft’, SP action plan to present back to the business after the course

–  A more effective outcome than simply having a few insights and ideas about SP – they need to start putting them into     practice back at work.

– Pair group working, helping each to work methodically through all of the stages presented and begin making decisions about   what direction their company’s SP project should take.

– For companies with SP already in place, they will need to highlight areas for improvement in their action plan.

Session 8: Presentation of SP Action Plans 

  • Individual presentations back to the group to validate and receive feedback on their plans and the thinking behind them.
  • Feedback should be considered by each delegate and if necessary used to change or modify their plan

Session 9: Group Review and Reflections 

Close Out

Succession Planning for Leaders Training Course

As a director or senior manager, have you ever thought that one day you are going to retire or move on to new opportunities? And have you ever considered what you will do if a key employee left the organisation? Are you and your organisation prepared for all this and do you have a plan for such predictable eventualities? No? Then this short course is for you.

This two-day short course is aimed at giving delegates a deep and real understanding about what succession planning (SP) is, why it has become such a critical element in the business strategy of the majority of the world’s most successful global businesses and how to design and implement their own SP strategy immediately back at work. On this course you will meet other, top professionals who are facing similar problems and more importantly you will develop a deep understanding about succession planning and recognise the competitive advantages it can provide for your organisation.

It is a highly intensive and interactive course that provides a clear, logical framework along with a range of practical insights essential for effective implementation. It will enable and empower delegates to not only understand the process but more importantly to be able to lead its implementation within their business.

  • UNDERSTAND what succession planning is and the powerful competitive advantage it can provide
  • IDENTIFY the types, strategies and tools of a successful succession plan
  • DETERMINE and understand the succession management phases
  • LEARN how to implement the key stages required to implement a successful succession planning process
  • CREATE individual delegate, ‘first draft’ action plans as a first step to implement their learning about succession planning back at work
  •  IMPLEMENT a strategic succession plan back at work

Personal Objectives

As a result of this course, delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the vital importance of succession planning as a key element in any successful business strategy
  • Understand that the process must start at the top and be owned by the Executive Board as a part of its regular business planning round
  • Understand the essential stages of successful succession planning and the sequence in which they must be delivered within the organisation.
  • Become more knowledgeable about the most important techniques commonly used in succession planning: organisation structures, role descriptions, the pros and cons of various performance assessment techniques, the use of competency frameworks, psychometric testing, how to assess potential and forming talent pools.
  • Review and evaluate the value of the most commonly used learning strategies for developing high potential people: attending development centres, undertaking corporate projects, peer group assignments, secondments to other parts of the business, coaching and mentoring, ‘shadowing’ senior executive colleagues, leadership master classes and taking on specially designed, “acting up roles.
  • Review and evaluate the most effective ways to assess succession planning programmes.

Training Strategy

The course is based on the most up to date research into succession planning and the most commonly used and effective techniques employed by the world’s most successful businesses.

It uses real case studies and examples of actual business plans, assessment methodologies, psychometric testing, succession planning policy documents as the considerable professional experiences of the tutor working within the field. These are combined to provide a positive balance of theory and practice to ensure that delegates are well prepared to implement their learning back in their businesses.

The course is highly interactive and encourages delegates to share their own experiences and as far as possible to ‘learn by doing’. So each session involves a number of practical individual and small group exercises. These are all intended to prepare delegates to be able to document a “first draft’, action plan that can be implemented by him or her and their colleagues on their return to work.

Finally, the action plans are presented to the whole delegate group to evaluate and offer constructive feedback about – in other words individual plans are improved by feedback from the group itself.


The most important measure of success of this course is the extent to which delegates feel able and are motivated to implement their action plans back at work. Each delegate should be absolutely clear about the order and the steps that they need to take in order for their plan to be successful.

It is important that feedback loops between the course organisers and the delegates are created so that a real feedback, follow up process is provided. This could take the form of both on line and phone discussions to ensure that delegates are supported by a deep level of professional expertise and advice when they begin to implement their plan and learning back at work. This, of course, is a purely optional opportunity for delegates to use as they see fit.

This workshop is specifically designed for the following target audiences:

  • Human Resources Managers, Line Managers, HR Business Partners, Team Leaders
  • HR / Talent Leaders, Learning / Organizational Development Professionals, Training & Development
  • Business / Line Leaders
  • Directors – Human Resources and Corporate Support
  • Managing Directors and VP’s/AVP’s

Continuing Professional Development