If a member of the executive team leaves, businesses that fail to adequately plan for a transition in leadership face major consequences.
This might result in a period of disorder, with teams at all levels lacking leadership and direction. Worse, it might make employees uneasy or scared about the company’s future direction and existing situation.
All of this contributes to a work climate that isn’t conducive to success and productivity.
You risk setting your firm up for a chaotic and stressful period of transition if you don’t have a clear, well-planned succession strategy. This might have a huge negative impact on your business.
It might also result in your firm losing the momentum and competitive advantage that your leadership and staff have fought so hard to attain.
This might be just the occasion your competitors have been waiting for, allowing them to take advantage of your company’s disorganization.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common derailers that organizations face during leadership transitions.
A derailment may cost a company a lot of money and cause a lot of worry.
🚩 Derailer 1: Inadequate Transition Planning
Companies should not begin leadership transition planning after the announcement has been made. Instead, years ahead of time is the greatest time to plan for leadership transitions.
If you establish a pool of internal and external applicants, your company will be better prepared for a smoother transition, even if it is an unanticipated one (and keep it up to date).
Starting from the ground up when replacing a top leader may be costly. To locate someone quickly, you might need to hire a talent scout and it’s also more likely to lead to a poor hiring decision.
According to estimates, up to 40% of all new CEOs get derailed during the first 18 months. A hasty search can lead to disaster, and it makes it even more likely that you’ll pick a poor option.
🚩 Derailer 2 : Unsure of a Leadership Cultural Fit
Organizations aren’t particularly adept at forecasting whether or not new executives will fit into their culture.
Even when businesses are competent at evaluating leaders’ talents (e.g., their skills, expertise, and general leadership competencies), they overlook the importance of alignment between leaders’ values and the values of the company, including the leaders’ team.
As a result, too many leaders are appointed (right) based on their abilities but then removed owing to a lack of cultural fit.
In order to improve their selection process for new leaders, businesses must correct three crucial flaws. To begin, a sound understanding of a good fit must include the leader’s motivations and ideals.
Second, the company must have a strong grasp of its own culture; otherwise, knowing a leader’s motivations and ideals is useless.
🚩 Derailer 3 : Inadequate Onboarding Practices
Since there isn’t much more required than bringing the CEO securely on deck, the phrase “onboarding” is a fitting term for how many firms facilitate new leaders’ transitions.
After that, he or she is expected to figure things out on his or her own with little or no help.
“Integration” indicates a loftier goal: doing all it takes to make the new hire a fully functional part of the team as fast and painlessly as feasible.
Regrettably, this isn’t usual practice. According to studies, well-integrated leaders may get traction quickly and decrease the typical time to full performance in half, from six to four months.
Assuming operational leadership, taking responsibility of the team, aligning with stakeholders, connecting with the culture, and articulating strategic intent are the five primary responsibilities that new leaders require the most integration help.
Leadership changes should, in theory, be the product of months of preparation. The new leader would be named while the current leader was still in charge, and the handover would take place in an orderly fashion. This new leader would quickly integrate into the team and get off to a great start.
In practice, leadership transition are rarely managed with the forethought or resources required.
Once the decision to hire someone new has been made, the myriad of complex issues that will arise as a result of the transition—everything from team politics to broken processes—are effectively delegated to this fresh new face to resolve quickly and efficiently, all while attempting to steer the company in a new direction.
Simply said, executive onboarding is required for successful leadership transitions. It’s a critical stage in a company’s lifecycle that must be handled with caution.
For more insight about Leadership Transition, please refer to our previous article.
About The Author: See Wei Ngiam
Ngiam’s versatile background in HR management and extensive experience working with MNCs such as Kimberly-Clark and Amway have allowed Ngiam to design Growtribe in a practical way to enable people leader & manager to accelerate people growth through a simple and yet impactful approach.