Succession planning, the process by which an organization makes sure that it will have the right leaders in the right place at the right time, has always been one of the most important accountabilities of the chief executives and top leaders of organizations. However, the importance of succession planning to business success has never been greater or more widely recognized than it is now—a result of the globalization of industry, demographic and generational shifts, and the ever-changing challenges of leadership in today’s organizations. In fact, corporate boards have become more actively involved in CEO succession and are holding CEOs accountable for making sure that succession planning is in place below them.

The term succession planning, along with the scope and primary focus of this managerial function, ...

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