Describe a complete leadership development and succession pipeline

… and do it in the space of an article

The title refers to a media query for an article.  The query asked about pointers for companies wanting to build their “benches” by building a leadership development and succession pipeline.

How Do You Build a Leadership and Succession Pipeline? Mike Russell

Books could be written on the subject (and have …) given the breadth and depth of what a business might eventually need to know or do depending on circumstances.  Therefore, an article can only scratch the surface and provide some starting points.

However, just because installing an effective leadership pipeline can be daunting does not mean it should not be done.  The media query is right … companies without effective leadership pipelines are in jeopardy.

What would you include as key pipeline aspects or pointers?

It is not a subject that has an easy or quick answer.

The real key is not to think of leadership development and associated succession planning as just processes.   All factors of the organizational model – strategy, culture, people, and yes, systems and processes – must be considered for an effective leadership pipeline.

I provided input to the query and will provide a future update.

In the meantime:

  • Does your company have a pipeline or even an approach? How effective is it?  How pressing are any needs for establishing or improvement?  How can you bring needs to light and influence change?
  • You as a leader are responsible for developing other leaders and solid succession options in your area, regardless of any broader company support. What have you done as a leader to identify and grow future leaders?  Do you have replacement options for key roles?
  • What can you do this week to make at least one improvement?


By Mike Russell