There are a couple of facts about CEO succession planning that by now should be carved on every boardroom table: CEO succession is an ongoing process that is crucial to the well-being of the enterprise, and one for which the full board has ultimate responsibility and accountability. Certainly, most directors are aware of this by now.

The rub is that understanding that the board is accountable for succession planning and knowing how best to follow through on the process are two different things. Even the best directors are “parttimers” at their companies, and with an average of eight meetings a year, they need to have a systematic process to stay on top of key areas of oversight.

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