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Update executive-succession approach

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An article in Trustee magazine looks at the need to update executive-succession planning for hospitals and health systems. It notes that traditionally such planning has included:

“Inventory of talent resources: A list of leaders with a summary of their personal and professional attributes, work experience, time in their career and current job, age, and skill sets.”

“Readiness assessment: An evaluation of each leader’s stage of development in current and future roles, which can be used for determining future potential…..”

“Succession charts: These organizational charts depict replacements rather than chains of responsibility….”

“{But} more and more organizations, however, are finding these approaches inadequate in the face of health care’s transformation. Next-up replacement approaches rely on the assumption that the future is a continuation of the past. But the executive skills of the past may not successfully address ongoing transformation.

The historical approaches have four shortcomings that hinder the acquisition of new skill sets for the C-suite:

  1. “Perception and subjective assessments of individual qualifications are not based upon the measurable outcomes of the leaders in the organization. Rather, they are based upon competencies and leadership skills evaluated during an annual performance review. In general, annual reviews focus on how the executive performs and not the executive’s accomplishments.
  2. “Next-up replacement approaches lack context or a situational awareness of the organization’s current needs, skills or future challenges. This deficiency arises as an organization focuses on replacement of the incumbent rather than where the organization is headed in the future and what it needs.
  3. “Next-up approaches tend to be vertical in scope and view talent within the silos of functional areas. When one views only the function or the operations, one cannot view the entire pool of talented individuals, regardless of where they report. It is rare to see someone who is not within a function on the replacement chart of the C-suite leader of that function.”To read the whole article, please hit this link.


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