ERIC Number: ED402500
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Bottom Up Succession Planning Works Better.
The majority of current succession planning practices reflect the viewpoint of only a linear career direction for ambitious people. They are based on the premise that competent people have and want only one career direction--an upwardly mobile one. In today's work force, however, a "bottom-up" process works better in succession planning. This process, which usually focuses no more than 2 years ahead, involves asking employees about their career goals at regular intervals and helping them develop career plans and competencies to meet their goals while allowing the organization to change to meet changing marketplace needs. Career paths need not be only upward and linear, but can involve eight directions, including lateral moves and temporarily moving down to a job with less responsibility in order to learn new skills. In this process, succession planning should resemble more a gridlike pattern than a traditional organization chart. Focusing on replacing incumbents is an old-fashioned idea that presumes that positions will remain the same, an unlikely assumption in a changing world. Succession planning should ensure that teams of people are ready for contingencies, organizational expansion or contraction, entering new markets, and handling changes in the nature of technology. Employees should be educated in career management and skilled in self-reliant practices in their own career development. This model suits the new workplace much better than the older top-down succession plan. (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Career Development, Career Ladders, Employment Level, Employment Practices, Employment Qualifications, Foreign Countries, Job Satisfaction, Job Skills, Occupational Aspiration, Occupational Mobility, Organizational Change, Organizational Development, Personnel Management, Power Structure, Promotion (Occupational), Quality of Working Life, Staff Development, Work Environment
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Centre for Worklife Counselling, Sydney (Australia).