CHICAGO--()--Headlines about messy CEO transitions are becoming increasingly common, leading to new questions about the degree of attention paid to succession planning at global companies. Even the strongest organizations—those that believe they are fully prepared for a chief executive transition—are suffering financial and reputational damage as their succession plans unravel.
“Even companies that follow all the rules of good CEO succession often fail”
The unseen and often-ignored cause of these failures is seemingly basic, yet extremely complex: the everyday interactions between people. Human dynamics (interpersonal and intrapersonal) underlie every stage of a CEO transition. Corporate boards consistently fail to recognize relationships as crucial to long-term outcomes and CEO effectiveness. As a result, they seldom build practices into the process that carefully and purposefully manage the influence of these forces.
Inside CEO Succession, a new book by global management consulting firm RHR International, addresses the underlying psychological elements that can derail even the best-intentioned boards. Co-authored by RHR Chairman and CEO Dr. Thomas J. Saporito and Senior Partner Dr. Paul Winum, the book argues that when it comes to CEO succession planning, the devil is in the dynamics. Boards must be proactive in dealing with the psychological nuances and interpersonal tensions that underpin succession decisions.
“Even companies that follow all the rules of good CEO succession often fail,” says Dr. Saporito. “Ultimately, success hinges upon human beings and accompanying matters of trust, communication, legacy, relationships, and competition.”
RHR research has uncovered an important dissonance between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ when it comes to CEO succession planning. Directors know that succession is a critical business continuity issue, yet most have little confidence that they are well equipped to execute all the elements of a successful succession program. It is the development of this expertise that ultimately mitigates risk and leads to the right decision making. Inside CEO Succession examines this disconnect and offers a unique combination of guidance, research and examples to help boards navigate the nuances of the CEO succession process.
To learn more about Inside CEO Succession, or to order a copy of the book, please visit: www.insideceosuccession.com.
About RHR International
We are a firm of management psychologists and consultants who work closely with top management to accelerate individual, team and business performance. We focus on four key areas of client need — Individual Assessment, Executive Development, Senior Team Effectiveness and CEO Succession. We have been proven difference-makers for more than 65 years, unique in our combination of top management focus, psychologists’ perspective and high-level business acumen.
RHR International has offices in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Ill. For more information, please visit www.rhrinternational.com or follow us on the RHR blog site, Facebook and Twitter.