Board Succession Planning

The future is now

Shaping a collaborative and diverse board

In a highly disruptive world, a future-focused board is a powerful strategic asset for any company and leadership team.

Increasingly, the board can elevate the capabilities of the leadership to achieve strategic outcomes. To do so effectively, they must unleash the power of varied perspectives and experiences through collaborative behavior.

This has made the demand for diverse, ready-now board talent extremely high. At the same time, the marketplace for board talent is on the rise as retirements are increasing and the private market is actively engaging large numbers of independent directors.

Our boardroom advisors have access to and are working with the world’s largest and most inclusive network of board- ready talent across all sectors, functions and geographies. In addition, our validated board succession process is designed to deliver compliance, performance, and strategic impact for organizations and all stakeholders.


What we do in Board Succession Planning

We work with organizations to evolve their approach from informal or subjective board recruitment to robust inclusive board succession, helping them to shape a diverse and complementary board team that can steer the future of the business.

Build a picture of your future board

We translate the language of business into the language of leadership to help you build the right board of directors that can take your business forward.

Today’s boards must balance the need to govern the business with the need to transform the business. That’s why the board succession planning process is so important. If the board is overly focused on governance at the expense of strategy, it can act like an anchor on the back of a boat, slowing down transformation. The board must be a critical partner of management, helping to anticipate and shape the future while continuing to monitor, manage and maintain performance.

For us, board succession planning involves spending time with clients to gain a deep understanding of the company’s strategy, future challenges and the opportunities it will need to pursue. Our understanding of your competitive landscape and sector trends help complete the picture.

We shape this understanding into an ideal set of experiences and capabilities that should be present at the board table, to ensure that the board is optimized to support management in executing the company’s strategy.

Identify the gaps between the directors you need and the directors you have

We work with you to complete the picture of your board’s current expertise and jointly identify who is needed for the future.

Analyzing the collective backgrounds and experiences of each of your current directors, we build a picture of the board’s current skillset. This allows us to compare current expertise with desired future expertise, identify gaps and design a forward-looking plan for board development​.

Find board candidates to match

We identify ideal profiles of future board and committee chairs, as well as the competencies needed today to ensure you have options of leaders to effectively support the business strategy for the future.

Our future-focused Success Profiles identify the perspectives, mindsets and experiences of future board members that will meet your organization’s strategic needs. While most board specifications focus primarily on experiences, research has shown that 80% of a director’s ultimate success is based on who they are, how they communicate and collaborate and not just on what they have done.

We evaluate board candidates using assessments, interviews and references, focusing on:

  • Leadership and character: Our assessments can objectively measure essential intangibles that we know to be critical for success as a director.
  • Skills and knowledge: Any new board director’s skills and knowledge should complement the current board and its strategy. We work with the existing board members to clearly define the director profile required, making future board diversity a priority.
  • Reputation and achievement: An effective director has a proven record of converting knowledge into results, with the reputation and credibility to lead and influence.
  • Availability and motive: A prospective board director must be available to serve free from conflicts and commit their time to the role. The board’s expectations and the candidate’s must be in sync.

Think long-term

Board succession planning is a continuous process that requires the cultivation of exceptional directors on an ongoing basis, not simply to fill an open seat at the table.

Our boardroom advisors are skilled at opening doors to help you attract the most impactful executives in anticipation of future needs and also have a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to enrich the board as your needs evolve. Boards that take this long-term strategic approach to succession planning are prepared to meet future challenges without disruption.

Meet our Board Succession Planning team

We have a large, global team with deep industry expertise working within our Board and CEO Services practice. Find your nearest consultant here.

Talk to an expert

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.
Any data you provide to us is governed by the terms of the Korn Ferry Global Privacy Policy.