One of my favorite activities I enjoyed doing as a child was completing the different connecting the dot games that were included in those soft copy books filled with various word and puzzle games still found today at grocery store checkout counters. My interest in this game was always one of curiosity about what the page would reveal. By connecting the dots in order of randomly placed numeric numbers, a visual picture of some sort would partially begin to reveal itself until all dots were connected revealing a complete picture on the page. Perhaps you also spent hours connecting the dots especially if you grew up as a curious individual like myself.
This game reminds me a lot of what I find most interesting about the Succession Management process. A typical Succession Management lifecycle offers organizations the opportunity to bring people, information, and processes together that enable organizations to gain a complete picture of both incumbents and those employees who are nominated to succeed those incumbents. Succession offers customers the unique opportunity to bring information together across existing processes and systems whether paper-based or on-line. The process really forces organizations to bring information together in order to gain that holistic view of their employees. By connecting the dots across these various systems and processes, the picture of individual employees can begin to take shape. For some employees we may only get a partial view while for others a complete view. Whether organizations gain a full or partial picture, all of this can assist in helping make formal Succession decisions.
While Succession Management solutions in the market today may be sold as an individual module, Succession Management can really be described as a collection of tools that enable your formal Succession Planning processes. What drives successful Succession processes stems from the availability of the data being collected on individual employees and being able to connect that data to gain a holistic view of your employee population.
The uniqueness of Succession is that it leverages and brings together the data found across different areas such as your Recruiting Management, core HRIS system, results from Performance & Compensation management lifecycle, and employee profiles to enable organizations to make well-informed Succession decisions.
While the above sounds great, the key driver to bringing it all together is the need to have a well-defined Succession process for everyone involved so you can get from point A to point Z. Think about those creative individuals who have created connect the dot games. On the surface, the page looks like a list of numbers randomly placed on a page, but behind it is a clear picture of what they want to reveal. There is a clear order and sequence that needs to be followed before a complete picture is revealed. For your Succession Planning processes, try to think in the same manner and ask yourself, “How do we want to connect the dots”?