I saw this article and it is a perfect preface to the issue of succession planning.

New Study Indicates More Than 50% of CEOs Cancel Strategic Initiatives Due to Lack of Workforce Talent

In these competitive economic times when companies are looking for global growth, skill shortages are often the top threats to profitability. This problem is clearly stated in a recent study from PwC. The research shows that more than half of CEOs in 2011 canceled or delayed strategic initiatives due to a lack of workforce talent – meaning they were unable to pursue a market opportunity because employees were not equipped with the proper skills.

At Training Solutions, we believe that at every stage of a business there must be a strategic eye to the future and this includes having the right people in the right jobs. We often use the phrase Right to the 5th power. This means finding the right person who fits the culture of the company and has the right skills, putting them in the right job for their skills providing the right tools to help them succeed and giving them the right feedback. In today’s marketplace, we take that a step further and look at who can be developed for the long-term and who needs to have back up.

This more than a numbers game, it’s a 2-way street; does the employee aspire to the track they are on and are we developing them effectively. Managers need to be trained to ask the right questions about career goals, give the right opportunities for achievement and provide needed feedback for growth.

Whether the company is just beginning, has been around for a while or is merging it is incumbent upon the leaders to identify the long-term structure and the key people who can guide the growth. This does not mean the people who are there now, although it may, but what are the job descriptions and accompanying skills needed.

Don’t lose projects or revenue because of inadequate staffing. A colleague always used this expression “proper prior planning prevented piss poor performance” How are your plans?