If there are changes to the board structure, you need to be prepared for them in advance. Most often, such changes occur because someone on the board is leaving their position. Not only may this lead to staff losses which need to be dealt with quickly, but it may also have a negative impact on the functioning of the entire company.

In order not to get lost in a crisis and not to panic, a so-called board succession plan should be prepared in advance. It is a strategic document which contains instructions on what to do if a member of the board leaves. While it may seem unimportant at first glance, it actually helps to maintain the company in a time of internal crisis and to deal with the problem of replacing the board as quickly as possible.


How to develop a board succession plan: a step-by-step guide

To create an effective succession plan, you need to go through several steps in its development. At first glance, creating a succession plan may seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be done in a few steps.


Integrate the development of a succession plan with overall company planning

The success of any company is not just dependent on sound business decisions. Crisis readiness is just as important a measure of success. One of these is the departure of board members. Company planning cannot do without setting up guidelines for such situations. Select qualified professionals to draft a succession plan and incorporate it into the company’s overall work plan.


Do a preliminary review of job openings

Every company conducts an annual review of employee performance. Board performance is no exception to the general rule. It is recommended that you do a preliminary review of vacancies that are theoretically likely to become available in the near future, and make a list of the key requirements for applicants. In this way you can reduce the time it takes to find the right candidate.


Do a thorough screening process

Even if the human resources department already has a suitable candidate for the vacant board seat, don’t rush into an appointment. It is better to look for more candidates, and choose the best one from among them. In doing so, you need to match the requirements of the vacancy with the existing skills and experience of each of the candidates. By comparing their performance against key requirements, you can find the perfect candidate for the benefit of the entire company.


Incorporate the onboarding process into your succession plan

The board succession plan should have a timeline for implementation. It should include an adaptation period for new board members. This will help smoothly integrate the changes into the company’s operations, and it will give new employees a chance to get used to their new positions and responsibilities without undue stress.


Remember, no task is too big or too small. The key steps for developing a board succession plan are needed first and foremost to create an effective and practical leadership team, dealing with crisis situations rather than eliminating undesirable employees. However, it is recommended that such a plan be made available for discussion and review so that changes can be made in time to create a leadership that is ideal for each company.