At our most recent CIO Event, we learned how important it is to develop, internally, your next leader.  I want to thank Jeff Tschiltsch, CIO at ComPsych Corporation, for leading a very informative meeting on Developing CIO Leadership & Creating A Succession Plan. I would also like to thank ComPsych for generously hosting our meeting. Let the succession planning begin!

Jeff started the meeting by sharing a little bit more about himself and his background in IT.  We learned that unlike Jeff’s hobby, racing, succession planning is a slow and steady process. Jeff brought to our attention that it is in the companies best interest to start a succession plan right away. He was very adamant about this one due to the fact that it took ComPsych 18 months to fill the role Jeff is currently in. “ If you start early it will create consistency and knowledge as you produce a strong internal candidate to develop and transition with ease.  This will also allow your leader to have more interaction with the potential candidate over time, observing their development and behaviors.” With Jeff’s insight, we hope all companies start a succession plan sooner than later, nobody wants to wait over a year to fill a role.

This brings me to the next topic Jeff touched on.  How do you choose and develop a successful leader?  We learned that ComPsych takes a hands-on approach with this one.  It’s not just up to the C-Suite leader but the entire TEAM! Remember there’s no “I” in team.  With this cumulative effort, the entire organization knows that their opinion matters and in return makes the transition a happy and healthy one for the entire organization.  Supporting one another is key to a successful succession plan.

In conclusion, we learned that in order for any company to have an easy transition with an internal employee they must adopt a succession plan and start it early.  The executives need to oversee a plan that will develop the chosen internal candidate to step in at the appropriate time and be able to understand and succeed in their new role. It won’t always be a smooth transition but when you have a plan you will always cross the finish line a winner. If you would l like to review the slides from the meeting, please click here.