Imagine your boss — the owner of the company — calls you into his office and shares some bad news: those nagging health problems he’s been having have been diagnosed by a medical specialist, and it’s not good news. It’s a serious disease that needs immediate treatment. And, on top of it, the doctor insists that if there is any chance of survival he must begin treatment immediately, otherwise, he has but a few months to live. The doctor advised him that this treatment will require all his physical resources to survive so he needs to prepare to leave his job within a week. He’s letting you and HR know so he can get his work affairs in order and does not know if he will return to work again.

Bam — gut punch! What to do? He’s the founder and leader of the company and there is no one that can fill his shoes. You certainly don’t have the skills and experience at this time to take over, so who will? How is the company going to survive? It’s too late to plan for his replacement now so you need a survival strategy, and where do you go and what’s the next step?

The above example may sound dire, but the point is clear: Will it be chaos or an orderly transition? When a leadership position is vacated if there is nobody ready to fill that position, it can create a significant problem. Succession planning, or the leadership “bench strength”, as it is commonly called, remains a common problem across many, if not most, companies. Here’s a startling statistic supported by a 2019 ATD study:

Only 35% of organizations have a plan in place to develop their leadership and ensure the long-term viability of their strategic success. 

Why is this? Uncertainty and resistance to change:

  • How to define, identify and develop talent
  • How to identify and measure people’s knowledge, skills, and abilities, which prepares them for even more challenging roles.
  • About how and where to start the process, to begin with.

These are but a few of the reasons companies do not develop a succession plan. The good news is that there is a new program called S3 – Strategic Talent Solutions that combine defining and identifying talent with developing people to fill future roles. This process provides clarity by enabling organizations to create an effective strategy for implementing a succession plan. Imagine being able to identify high-potential employees who align their leadership growth with the strategic plan.

S3 is composed of three phases: S1 — Discovery and Needs Analysis; S2 – Talent Assessment and Benchmarking; and S3 – Talent Development.

S3 is a talent development and succession program designed to ensure your leadership can:

  • Identify talent gaps.
  • Align talent with your strategic plan.
  • Create a strong bench with the right people in the right position.
  • Effectively leverage and transition leadership talent.
  • Utilize a framework for developing future leadership.
  • Develop a blueprint for talent succession.

Through a structured succession planning process, the S3 process will reveal the knowledge, skills, and abilities of high-potential candidates, which prepares them for advancement or promotion. S3 systematically guides client companies through a thoroughly documented process with facilitators, trainers, and coaches. Both organizational and individual work plans are followed to ensure talent gaps are identified and leadership development results in a healthy, productive, and profitable way.