‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ – Benjamin Franklin


C-Suite Succession Planning

In a world of constrained talent supply, it is becoming increasingly vital for organisations to have established and articulated succession plans in place across the executive level of their organisations. The establishment of a clear leadership path, with the appropriate development plans in place, provides for stakeholder security and organisational stability.

Over the past twenty-five years Woodburn Mann has developed and honed a methodology to assist clients with their Succession Planning. Many of South Africa's top executives have been selected using one or more of the processes outlined below.

Phase 1 : Assessment of Internal Candidate(s)

The Client selects one or more of the organisation's senior first line Executives whom they believe may have some or all of the qualities required for internal promotion to fill the role in question.

For the assessment of internal promotion of candidate(s), use is made of one or more of the following methodologies depending on the Client's requirements and/or preferences.

  • Comprehensive generic interview undertaken by two senior consultants from Woodburn Mann so as to ensure complete objectivity
  • Competency based interview undertaken by two consultants from Woodburn Mann
  • Comprehensive psychometric assessment undertaken by a specialist Industrial Psychologist
  • Verification of the individual's qualifications directly with the academic or professional institution awarding the candidate's degree(s)/professional qualification(s).
  • Verbal references and perceptions from one or more sources (subject to confidential constraints and in consultation with the client):
    • Superiors under whom the candidate has worked
    • Major customers
    • Major suppliers
    • Suppliers
    • Shareholders
  • Benchmarking the internal candidate(s) against the profiles of comparable Senior Executives whom Woodburn Mann has formally interviewed and assessed over the past few years.

Based on the above processes, a comprehensive report is compiled, drawing conclusions, highlighting any areas of concern should they be identified, and making a definitive recommendation as to the suitability of the internal candidate(s).

Phase 2 : Comprehensive Research Based Executive Search

Phase 3 : Executive Coaching and Counselling

Subject to the outcome of Phases 1 and 2 above, and in consultation with the Client, Woodburn Mann could provide, through its strategic alliance partners, Executive Coaching and/or Counselling, should this be considered necessary for either the individual appointed to the position and for those members of the Executive team who may feel aggrieved by the appointment.

Phase 4 : Monitoring Progress of Successful Candidates

During the first year in office Woodburn Mann has a policy of keeping in close contact with both the client and successful candidate to ensure a successful induction and achievement of the expected performance of the candidate.