Linkage Inc's Best Practices in Succession Planning / Edition 1

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Linkage, Inc.'s Best Practices for Succession Planning

Identifying and developing top talent are essential elements for any organization's long term success. However, putting in place an effective succession planning system can be a daunting process for many organizations.

Linkage's Best Practices for Succession Planning offers the case studies, strategies, and proven tools needed to create a solid succession plan that will enable organizations to examine leadership competencies and determine the steps needed to close leadership gaps. The book contains best practices and profiles what leading organizations—Bright Horizons, CIGNA, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Merrill Lynch, Purina, and Unilever—are doing to plan for succession and develop talent. Linkage's Best Practices for Succession Planning also includes a new methodology for succession planning, strategies for leadership progression and development, innovative tools, and a comprehensive resource guide.

Linkage's Best Practices for Succession Planning offers practical guidance based on Linkage's vast resources and helps organizations to

  • Identify, develop, and retain top talent
  • Assess future roles
  • Integrate succession planning with other business and HR models within the organization
  • Analyze bench strength
  • Design the system
  • Implement the plan
  • Measure results

Written for chief human resource executives, heads of leadership development programs, human resource professionals, and consultants, Linkage's Best Practices for Succession Planning provides a flexible toolkit that can be adapted to the needs of any organization, whether their needs are small or large.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mark R. Sobol is the founding principal of Leadership Strategies International, Inc. and is part of A4SL Coaching and Consulting.

Phil Harkins is president, CEO, and chairman of the board of directors of Linkage, Inc., the company that he founded in 1988.

Terence Conley is executive vice president of human resources and corporate services for Cendant Corporation.

Linkage, Inc. is a global organizational development company that specializes in leadership development. Linkage provides clients around the world with customized leadership development and strategic change solutions that include and integrate consulting, training, assessment, coaching, and benchmark research. Linkage also offers a full range of conferences, institutes, summits, public workshops, and distance learning programs on leading-edge topics in leadership, management, HR, and OD.

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Table of Contents

Tables, Figures, and Exhibits.



About the Editors.

Part One: Introduction to Succession Planning.

1. A New Methodology: Succession, Progression, and Development.

Chapter Outline.

The Age-Old Debate.

The Succession Planning Process.

The Ten Questions and Answers That Explain SPD for the Board.

2. Seven-Step Program to Maximize Your Succession Planning System.

Part Two: Best Practices in Succession Planning.

3. Bright Horizons Family Solutions: Case Study.

The Twelve Learning Elements.

The 9 Block Succession Planning Tool.

The Growth and Learning Program.

The Technology That Supports the System.


Lessons Learned.

About the Contributor.

4. CIGNA: Case Study.

Chapter Outline.

CIGNA Introduction.

In the Beginning . . . .

The Foundation of Change.

The Start of Something New . . . .

2004 Succession Review: A Single But Bold First Step.

February 2005: "Blueprint" for Enterprise Succession Process and Leadership Development Framework.

The "52-Week Formula": Building Bench Strength for Increased Succession ROI.

Moving Forward: You Get What You Measure and What You Focus On.

Lessons Learned.

About the Contributor.

5. AlliedSignal: Case Study.

Chapter Outline.

A Business Imperative.

Forming Priority Principles.

Providing a Forum for the Task.

Getting Things Down in Black and White.

Success via Succession.

Lessons Learned.

About the Contributor.

6. Lockheed Martin: Case Study.

Chapter Outline.

Background and History.

Target Audience and Participant Selection.

Program Components.

Measuring Progress.


Lessons Learned.

About the Contributor.

7. Merrill Lynch: Case Study.

Chapter Outline.

Global Markets & Investment Banking Group.

GMI Succession Process.

Taking Action.

One-on-One and Talent Review.

Lessons Learned.

About the Contributor.

8. Ralston Purina Petcare Company’s Customer Development Group: Case Study.

Chapter Outline.

Company Profile.

Customer and Employee Focus.

Business Strategy.

Succession Planning Program Design.

The Five Key Philosophies.

The Planning Process.

The Performance Appraisal System.

The Competency Model.

Future Utilization or Movement.

Developmental Interventions.



Feedback and Analysis.


Lessons Learned.

About the Contributors.

9. Unilever: Case Study.

Chapter Outline.


Business Strategy.

Employee Focus.

Design and Implementation.

Feedback and Analysis.


Lessons Learned.

About the Contributors.

Part Three: Succession Planning Toolkit.

10. Introduction to the Toolkit.

11. Assessment Tools.

12. Development Tools.

13. Evaluation Tools: The Measure and Learn Phase.

Part Four: Resource Guide.



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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Important Guide

    Often, the main difference in a company's long-term success is how effective they are in succession planning. As a person that has worked with several companies over several decades, I can attest that most of us do a poor job in this all-important arena.

    This excellent book removes any excuses we may have. Combining case studies and practical advice it provides a well-spring of well-written guidelines and procedures that we can implement. In addition, I found the plethora of charts, graphs and exhibits to be extremely useful in communicating and selling this concept to management.

    The book is organized in a very useful way. Dividing the subject into 4 parts makes it much more palatable for even the worst of us ADD types. These sections are:
    1. Introduction
    2. Best Practices
    3. Toolkit
    4. Resource Guide

    I purchased this book in 2007 and have referred to it many times in the past two years. I am really glad I have it. It has saved me countless hours of research and planning.

    I hope you find this review helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch, SPHR

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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