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The Problems in Succession Planning

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As we all know by now, hindsight is twenty-twenty, but it is possible to turn your hindsight into foresight.

–Ellen Moore

The above quote is true for a broad array of situations and processes, including succession planning. Whether it is anticipated retirements and resignations or unexpected emergencies and disasters, it is vitally important for organizations to have a succession plan. Unfortunately, succession planning, like most processes established in an organization, tends to arise out of necessity. In fact, many organizations experience serious succession problems before implementing the very safeguards that could have protected them. When this happens, organizational leaders can turn their hindsight into foresight by using their understanding of what went wrong to create a more effective succession plan for the future. In this week’s Assignment, you examine how succession plans could have helped organizations before serious succession problems occurred.

For this Assignment, review the six vignettes presented on pages 3 and 4 of the course text Effective Succession Planning. As you review each of these vignettes, assume that you are the lead human resources (HR) professional for the organizations depicted in the vignettes. After you have reflected on each vignette, select one on which to conduct an analysis that focuses on the needs for formalized succession plans.

To complete this Assignment, respond to the following four points in a 5 to 6 page paper:

1.Define the problem.

oDescribe the vignette that you selected.

oDescribe at least two ways this vignette depicts an organization with a flawed or nonexistent succession plan.

oPredict at least two ways the problem affects the sustainability of the organization.

2.Identify the cause.

oCould an effective succession plan have reduced the likelihood of this specific consequence from occurring?

If yes, justify your response by describing at least one way a succession plan could have addressed this issue before it escalated to the problem(s) portrayed in the vignette.

If no, why do you feel that in this vignette a succession plan would not have addressed this issue before it escalated? Would a succession plan have assisted in some of the fallout from this situation, other than the underlying issue? What actions, outside of succession planning, could the organization have taken to avoid this undesirable consequence? Justify your position.

3.Correct the failure.

oDescribe at least three succession planning best practices you could implement to immediately remedy the negative consequences of the problem described in this vignette.

4.Prevent future problems.

oDescribe at least three succession management best practices you could implement to mitigate the chances of this undesired problem reoccurring.

oIn developing a future succession planning culture, which approach might you take—a traditional or an alternative approach?

Justify your answer using specific examples of how this approach would benefit the organization depicted in the vignette.



The Pacific+ Company. (n.d.). Three reasons to choose Pacific+. Retrieved from

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