Periods of change at Board level can often be when organisations are at their most vulnerable. When leaders and non-executives retire or leave an organisation, it can create holes and inefficiencies within the existing workforce.
To combat any loss of executive or non-executive talent, organisations can leverage succession plans to ensure they are prepared for any challenges during these times of transition.
For help with executive or non-executive search, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Edward Drummond.
The checklist below outlines 4 simple ways to start thinking about non executive succession planning.
Step 1 – Timing
NED transitioning requires perfect timing – both with regard to the individual leaving and the new individual joining.
If non-executives are brought in too early within their career, they may not offer the value expected. This makes it important to understand the talent landscape within the market, to help make better decisions about talent acquisition. Market mapping and benchmarking can be useful tools to help set expectations and gauge the type of skills available in the marketplace.
Non-executive transitioning also requires sufficient time for NEDs to settle into their new role. A dedicated transitioning phase helps reduce immediate pressure and allows them to find their feet.
It’s also useful to ensure transitioning key positions within an organisation doesn’t come at a busy time in the year for the business. Bringing someone onto the Board is an important process and shouldn’t be pushed to one side due to other priorities in the business.
Step 2 – Clear Structure
A clear structure helps NED appointments understand what’s expected of them. This helps reduce ambiguity and allows NEDs to feel more confident in their role.
Creating a comprehensive schedule of what needs to be achieved by certain dates also helps create transparency between new hires and the organisation.
Executive and NED onboarding should include plenty of time to get familiar with the people and processes of an organisation. This helps create context for any new appointment before they start to implement their ideas and strategies.
Gaining a comprehensive understanding of previous challenges, opportunities and hires, can also help a new NED understand the journey an organisation has been on. This subsequently helps provide valuable insights into the underlying culture, values and shared experiences held by the workforce.
Step 3 – Freedom
The initial few weeks and months of a new NED joining an organisation are very important. This is an opportunity to provide them with support and resources but also allow them the freedom to evaluate organisational processes and procedures indepedently.
You don’t want to over-manage or impact their decision making. The whole purpose of a NED is to bring new insights, thinking, and experience onto the Board.
Step 4 – Review
Reviewing any new hire should be a process every organisation adopts. This is particularly important at senior and Board level.
It’s important to see how a new NED has integrated into the business and what impact they are having. Having review sessions help ensure new hires and the organisation are still aligned in expectations and results.
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