Succession today means far more than finding one person to step in and take over a particular position, especially at the top of the organization. What’s needed is a succession management approach that deepens the talent pipeline. This is the essence of identifying the “seven CEOs”—the current senior leader and six others at various stages in their career development.
At a time when boards of directors of publicly traded firms have a clear fiduciary responsibility for succession, a robust process is needed to identify, evaluate, and develop a broad slate of candidates. Once found inside organization, these candidates are assessed to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and provided with development plans for the short and long term. By identifying their “seven CEOs,” enterprises are better prepared to respond to current and future leadership talent needs, while reducing leadership risk.