Succession Planning for the 21st Century

75% of executives view succession planning as the top human capital challenge that could derail their company's attainment of key strategic business objectives. Yet generational shifts, emerging communication technologies and rising economic uncertainty have changed the playing field and what's required of 21st century leaders. Existing succession planning models have not kept up.

There has been much talk of the "new normal" in American business but little practical discussion on how to address succession planning to meet new and future challenges facing organizations. Here are five questions to start the conversation and improve the quality and depth of your leadership pipelines.

  1. What roles in your organization are mission critical now?
  2. What roles will (and won't) be mission critical in the future?
  3. What roles have the highest turnover?
  4. What roles have long learning curves?
  5. What roles are or will be difficult to recruit for?

To learn the critical requirements and pitfalls of succession planning, I invite you to watch my 3-minute video, Building the Talent Pipeline to the 21st Century, featured at this year's SHRM conference. You can access the video and other pertinent information directly from the homepage of my newly designed website at If you need a sounding board for any of your succession planning or talent management challenges, feel free to contact me at

- Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group.