Industry Experts: Why It’s Never Too Soon to Start Planning for Your Next CEO

Industry Experts: Why It’s Never Too Soon to Start Planning for Your Next CEO
Industry Experts: Why It's Never Too Soon to Start Planning for Your Next CEO

According to recent data by Korn Ferry, only 13% of South African companies have a formal succession plan in place. They also found that organisations without a formal succession planning process are less likely to be successful in identifying and developing future leaders. 

With this in mind, recruitment experts at Armstrong Appointments reveal the importance of early planning and share valuable tips on where to start.

“It’s never too soon for businesses to start planning for their next CEO. Being proactive and taking the time to develop a well-thought-out succession plan can help to ensure that your business is prepared for any leadership transition. 

Finding the right match for a high-level position can be a lengthy process due to the high stakes involved, with the average time it takes to find a new CEO in South Africa being 9 months. The board of directors needs to be confident that the selected candidate has the skills, experience, and qualities necessary to lead the company into the future. 

Succession planning helps to avoid disruption. A well-planned succession can help to minimise disruption to the business during a leadership transition. This is especially important for companies in competitive industries, where a sudden change in leadership could give rivals an advantage.

Succession planning sends a message of stability. This can be attractive to investors, employees, and customers alike.”

How to Begin Succession Planning for Your Next CEO

  • “Assess your current leadership team. Identify potential internal candidates and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. South Africa boasts a healthy equal split of external and internal CEO hires.
  • Develop a leadership development plan. Provide opportunities for potential internal candidates to develop their skills and experience.
  • Establish a clear succession process. Determine who will be responsible for making decisions about the CEO transition, and how those decisions will be made.
  • Communicate your succession plan to your employees. This will help to ensure that everyone is aware of the plan and that there are no surprises.”