Big Picture

Succession Planning

Succession Planning

In our CEF USA strategic plan we have made succession planning a high priority. It is our desire that within five years each state will have a succession plan in place for the state and local director positions.

I used to think that succession planning was making sure there was someone to take your place. Whereas that is part of it, succession planning is a lot more. It is even more than having someone to take the place of the top leaders in CEF; however that is also only part of it.

Succession planning is having “…the right leadership at the right place at the right time with the right skills.” Put another way it is “getting the right person in place for every job”.

While the demand for effective leaders in CEF continues to grow, the retirement of baby boomers is making a sharp decline in the number of our work force. For this reason, careful planning for the replacement of leaders at all levels in CEF has gained strategic importance.

Succession planning for CEF is the process of identifying the key positions within each district, state or chapter and intentionally developing current staff to assume these positions. It is a plan to address both current and future leadership needs. Here are steps for developing your plan.

Steps for Developing Succession Strategies

  1. Pray God will give wisdom in selecting and developing people for leadership roles.
  2. Identification of Key Leadership Positions – once identified evaluate ….
    1. The impact (how hard it is to replace a person) and
    2. The vacancy risk. (how soon it will be vacant)
  3. Identify Competency and Skills for that position – This has been done for you; the list of competencies are found in the Staff Development Manual (performance review)
  4. Next assess current staff – do you have one person or more ready to successfully assume the role and responsibility of the position. This evaluation is based on two things:
    1. current performance – done via performance review usually done each fall
    2. their potential for advancement
  5. Design and Implement Individual Development Plans – IDP should be done each year usually in January – remember 61% of learning takes place on the job – real work, cross training, and job assignments.
  6. Monitor and Evaluate Strategies –The measurements should identify the timetable, expected outcome and strategy.

A good succession plan will give these results:

  1. Staff are prepared and trained for the ministry and responsibilities of the future.
  2. Growth opportunities that help motivate and retain current staff.
  3. Transfer of knowledge from key people in CEF to their successors through mentoring and on-the-job training.

Here is my recommendation for our plan….

  1. Keep the process simple. Make the process logical and simple.
  2. Make succession planning part of your strategic plan.
  3. Review and update it annually


Julie Spiegel, Associate director of Leadership Development

July 2010