Succession Planning: A Board Imperative

Directors should have knowledge of their own leaders as well as outside talent to ensure a smooth changeover, advise Spencer Stuart's Dayton Ogden and John Wood

Boards understand the need for succession planning, but all too often they just don't do it very well. In surveys, directors consistently rank succession planning as one of the most important duties. However many boards don't give themselves strong marks for planning for a chief executive officer change and evidence suggests that's an accurate assessment. Even today only about half of public and private corporate boards have CEO succession plans in place, according to a recent survey by the Center for Board Leadership. The National Association of Corporate directors says just 16% of directors reported that their board is effective at CEO succession planning.

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