KPMG's Audit Committee Insights for July 14, 2010 featured a Corporate Board Member article about CEO succession planning. A new research study of 140 public and private CEOs and boards in North America released by Heidrick & Struggles and Stanford's Rock Center revealed serious planning gaps when it comes to CEO succession. Here is a link to the Corporate Board Member article.
It said that less than half the companies were prepared to name a successor should the need arise. Law firms of all sizes face this same issue. Leaders-in-training isn't a commonly accepted track in law firms. Some firm leaders think it focuses too much attention on the "haves" (and thus, the "have-nots") if you ordain certain lawyers as future leaders.
But in corporate America, I have assumed that succession planning was de rigueur for Fortune 1000 public companies (at least). Not so. Here is a summary of the survey results:
Executive committees and managing partners -- take heed. Ask yourself these survey questions. We know that poor succession planning by corporate boards can lead to stock price drops, and regulatory and reputational risk. Your law firm will have its own risk-set to manage - start planning before you find yourself unprepared.
What happens if you are forced to elevate a new managing partner or chair and you don't have the right person groomed for the job?
Read more insight at the Law Firm 4.0 Blog.