For over 30 years Ray Rood, founder and Senior Consultant of the Genysys Group, has been consulting with organizations and organizational leadership in all sectors, for- profit, not-for- profit and public, who have been interested in initiating, sustaining and safeguarding long term vision driven serious change. Over the course of his experience Ray and his Genysys colleagues have been engaged in numerous leadership transition/succession initiatives including Ray’s successful succession of his own company within the past few years.
One of the primary lessons that Ray and his Genysys colleagues have learned from their experience is the realization that organizational health and longevity is greatly dependent upon how well the various elements of the leadership transition/succession process is both understood and navigated by all involved parties. The following outlines the central elements that have been identified as essential to navigating a successful transition and succession experience.
Element I: The Element of Time – The succession process should begin long before a change needs to take place in a given position, particularly a senior position. If possible, this should be at least a three to five year process.
Element II: The Element of Assumption Clarification – The type and form of leadership needed in the future may be quite different than that of the current leadership given the future direction of the organization. Every organization needs to clarify the ir assumptions regarding needed organizational change including leadership structure changes before engaging in a leadership transition/succession process.
Element III: The Element of Phases – There are up to five distinct phases that a successful succession process goes through involving all responsible parties including the predecessor, successor and those involved in making the final selection. Each phase has its own distinct set of activities and timeline.
Element IV: The Element of Roles and Responsibilities – Each responsible party, the predecessor, successor and selection decision makers need to have clarity regarding their respective roles and specific responsibilities as each go through the succession process for a smooth process to take place that advances the well being of all parties including the organization as a whole.
Element V: The Element of Challenge and Support – A successful succession is aided significantly by an outside agent that can provide the appropriate blend of challenge and support to the respective responsible parties as they navigate this experience. This support includes coaching and mentoring guidance during each of the various phases of the process. Genysys is the fifth element.
Element VI: The Element of Ongoing Learning – We believe that learning is at the heart of a successful succession and that the more that it is captured and recycled into the process the greater the success.
The Genysys Group looks forward to partnering with organizations and their leadership that desire to be proactive in exploring how leadership succession can enhance both the longevity and health of the organization as a whole, but also each individual leader.