The webinar explored a range of board succession planning areas and consider the current state of play. How do boards tackle this area – how do Chairs approach the issue as they typically will seek to build an effective board?
From an Executive point of view how are key positions covered - what influence does the CEO have identifying his or her successor as well as other key appointments to the board? From a NED point of view how do you find the right candidates, especially bring in ‘new blood’ rather than relying on the usual suspects? Chairs and Nomination Committees should be casting a wider net.
Succession plans often do not consider different time horizons, which might include:
- contingency planning – for sudden and unforeseen departures;
- medium-term planning – the orderly replacement of current board members and senior executives (e.g. retirement); and
- long-term planning – the relationship between the delivery of the company strategy and objectives to the skills needed on the board now and in the future.
The board performance evaluation should cover the succession plan itself, but often there is no direct link; boards should use the opportunity of a board evaluation to assess their composition and agree plans for increasing diversity.