Skip to main content

You are here

BMOC Conference 2017 — A Look into Succession Planning

I’ve been on several conference committees and the topic of succession planning always comes up, but it is such a broad topic that the committees have struggled to find the right speaker. So I am very excited that the Business Managers and Owners Council (BMOC) planning committee has found two speakers who can bring a broad range of expertise and experience to this topic! Whether staff development or exit planning is your concern, you should find their presentation and information useful to your business.

I recently met with one of the speakers to discuss succession planning. Lori Niederlehner is a partner with BeachFleischman PC., a CPA firm with a Strategic Operations and Advisory Resources (SOAR) division. The SOAR consultants help business owners achieve their growth and operational objectives through strategic and succession planning.

As I sat down with Lori, I wanted to touch on a few questions related to the employee development part of our succession planning discussion.

A: Lori, thanks for meeting with me to discuss your upcoming presentation at the BMOC conference. Succession planning seems to be such a massive topic. What does succession planning actually mean?

L: Succession planning is a broad topic that has been used to define exit planning, transition planning, replacement planning and succession planning. Succession planning when done proactively and strategically provides the foundation for exit planning, transition planning and replacement planning. It’s all about readiness — having the right people, for the right jobs, at the right time. It is the future-focused practice of identifying the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform certain functions and then developing a plan to prepare multiple individuals to potentially perform those functions. When done well, succession planning and talent development become ingrained in an organization’s culture and provides a competitive advantage in the market place.

A: You are an expert in the area of employee development. I have heard a lot about personality tests being a good predictor of employee behavior and performance. What do you think about personality testing employees and candidates?

L: Personality assessments that are reliable and valid and used in tandem with other tests and screening methods can play a role when assessing candidates. A hiring manager should not rule out or hire any candidate based solely on the results of a personality assessment. The personality assessment should be viewed as only one part of a candidate’s profile. You also want to look at a candidate’s experience, skills, talent and cognitive and physical abilities. It is important to note that critical to the long-term retention and professional development of an employee is a realistic job preview. A realistic job preview typically includes information about a company’s mission, values and culture, as well as job responsibilities. A personality assessment in conjunction with other skilled-based tests can provide the candidate and hiring manager valuable information that helps both the candidate and the employer decide whether the position is a good fit and one in which the candidate can be successful in long-term.

A: We hear Millennial employees are so different compared with other generations. Various sources define Millennials as those born sometime between 1982 and 2002. If that birth date range is correct, many of these folks are in the workforce now (in fact may even be 34 years old!). Do you have any advice on how to keep Millennials engaged as part of the succession plan in our firms?

L: Millennials are searching for inclusive leadership and an opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the success of an organization. A culture of talent development, knowledge sharing, job enrichment and flexibility (keys to successful succession planning) appeals to Millennials.

A: Thanks so much for your time Lori! I’m so excited to hear more at the conference in April!

Lori will partner will Jon Karp of Thompson Coburn to discuss succession planning at the 2017 BMOC conference. Lori will focus on strategic and succession planning in the areas of identifying needs and developing strategies to address those needs. Jon will focus on exit strategies related to succession planning. Join us as we focus on the future during our succession planning session at the 2017 BMOC Conference! You can read more about the conference and register here.

Amanda R. Iverson is Chief Operating Officer, pinnacle plan design, LLC.