Emerging Succession Management Practices that Increase Fairness and Broaden Succession Pools In a Measurable Way.

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Wowledge Expert Team
Principal level
127 Wows earned

This guide is part of a progression set comprised of Core, Advanced, and Emerging Succession Management practices.

What it is

Emerging succession management is a refined and enterprise-wide endeavor in which the company proactively identifies a broad range of future leaders and critical skills professionals who might be years away from filling an executive role. Such early identification drives the use of “pools” of potential superstars as HIPOs and future successors. It helps create a talent development culture where senior management and executives are both aware of and boost the careers of the best and brightest in the organization.

It is enabled by technology, with systems that both manage and (when employing Artificial Intelligence (AI)) further democratize the process by automatically identifying potential successors from across the organization and recommending development roles and programs to further enhance their capabilities.

At this level, succession management embraces the use of talent reviews, which are comprehensive discussions of a broad array of high-impact roles, high-performing and potential employees, talent-shifting scenarios, and development opportunities to be filled by targeted employees.  Continuously linked to business strategies and objectives, it also involves the measurement of process, status, and outcomes to enable the tracking and monitoring of plans made during the sessions involving dozens of top leaders.

Why use it 

The value of emerging succession management lies primarily in its ability to promote talent growth of both the most valued individuals and ultimately, entire job families/functions.  By identifying, discussing, and developing talent earlier in their careers, more employees can be groomed for a wider range of roles, both vertical and lateral job opportunities across traditional functional “silos”, enabling movement that balances high potential talent across the organization while better preparing future leaders with cross-functional experiences.

It includes a proactive reach into talent communities (internal and external) in addition to leader nominations to enable the identification of otherwise “hidden” talent and future stars in a fairer and more transparent manner. Talent review sessions are used to discuss candidates while supporting talent sharing more evenly across organizational and functional lines. The full benefit is realized when a larger pool of highly qualified candidates is put on pathways to more responsible roles and assignments with accelerated readiness as executive and critical roles become vacated.

Practice guides at this level

Going deep in the organization with larger talent pools of potential succession candidates.

Identifying and developing potential leadership talent earlier in a career, with a focus on multiple nomination techniques to create "pools" of future leaders.

Leveraging AI technology for automated identification and planning for more equitably developed succession pools.

Using datasets, AI, and machine learning to better and more fairly identify succession candidates, conduct skill and competency assessments, and develop career development and pathing recommendations.

Conducting robust and impactful group talent reviews for increased equity and fairness.

Developing a structured process with a tiered progression of meetings to increase the objectivity, transparency, awareness, and fairness of employee capability and potential assessments.

Using scenario planning for potential business and key personnel change situations.

Using scenario planning to leverage the information gleaned from talent reviews to plan not only the most likely replacement scenarios but also other more complex situations that arise with regularity.

Generating advanced succession execution and impact metrics.

Leveraging HR metrics and reporting to track and observe both the execution and impact/levels of success of the succession management process.

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