Four Letters. Infinite Potential.

Succession Planning is an Essential Element of Meeting Strategic Goals

By Charles Shanley, SPHR, CFS, Executive Vice President, Recruitment Services and J. Keith Hughey, Senior Consultant


The idea of developing a succession plan normally evokes thoughts of uncertainty that accompany the loss of a leader or other valued employee. And while a succession plan can have critical implications for an organization, from a continuity and regulatory perspective, a comprehensive plan can also have a major impact on a bank or credit union’s ability to reach its strategic goals and objectives successfully. 

Effective leadership and well-trained, motivated staff members play important roles in pushing an organization toward its strategic goals – from defining strategies to focusing resources, measuring outcomes and establishing a cooperative, productive work culture. With a thorough succession plan in place, your bank or credit union can identify and groom the individuals who will eventually be responsible for ensuring the institution is prepared to address the future challenges posed by increased regulation, changing markets and growing competition. 

With all of the unexpected challenges financial institutions face today having a pro-active succession plan in place can ensure an uninterrupted, stable management structure in the event of a leadership change – whether it is planned or unexpected.  And while this is undoubtedly an important aspect of the long-term strategic direction of an institution, succession planning can also enhance the processes that help to maintain an overall culture of success and staff involvement. 

Determine the skills required to meet your goals
Starting at the top, a succession plan can serve as a guide for what specific skill sets and leadership qualities are required to ensure long-term success. Before you start the search and recruiting process, ask yourself these questions: Is your institution posed for a merger or acquisition? Is there an urgent need to upgrade infrastructure or undergo a substantial strategy evaluation to make the institution more competitive in a changing market? This type of information can help to tighten the parameters used in an executive search process and demonstrates to serious candidates that your organization has a clear direction for the future. 

Is there a leader waiting under your roof?
In addition to charting the course for a long-distance leadership search, a succession plan should also outline the process to take regarding the identification of leadership talent within the organization. And while some organizations immediately set their sights on attracting the best and brightest that might have made industry headlines, remember: there are strategic benefits to beginning your search from within

An internal candidate is already familiar with your culture and staff, which can be beneficial to strategic planning initiatives. Plus, establishing a path to leadership within your organization will give you a better chance of retaining up-and-coming stars and guarantees continuity of service, which can be very important to keeping and attracting account holders. 

Also, by preparing existing staff members who have management potential to step in and fill an open leadership position – if even on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is put into place – you demonstrate to staff that you reward hard work and loyalty. 

Cultivate budding talent for future opportunities
While you may determine that existing staff members do not currently possess the leadership abilities you are looking for at this time, it is important to have a training plan and resources in place to cultivate the skills and expertise that you identify along the way. This will help to motivate staff and keep the organization moving, without interruptions in the workforce. Plus, by identifying employees who have potential, you can provide advancement opportunities to help them improve their skills and position them to take on increasing responsibilities, whenever possible.

Established processes can ensure smooth transition
A succession plan should include direction regarding the process to follow in the event of an open position, along with any outside resources needed.  Having access to a professional recruiter or search firm, development trainers or the best legal expertise will ensure a smooth transition and to make sure staff development plans are effective. This can help to alleviate extra work for those staff members who are tasked with keeping the everyday operations running smoothly, help to boost morale among employees and maintain uninterrupted, quality service for your business.

Timing is the key to successful strategic results
Succession planning is one of those initiatives that, in many cases, organizations put off until it becomes a critical need. With that shortsighted view, failure to prioritize succession planning and leadership development can lead to the attrition of quality talent and leave your bank or credit union staffed with people who are not prepared to lead in the years ahead. From a strategic perspective, if an organization is always trying to catch up to its previous level of accomplishment, it will have a very difficult time of attaining its long-term goals.

To learn more about succession planning or recruitment services, contact us 800-809-2307.


100% 12 months 14 years 20 years 2020 2020 vision 40 years abusive abusiveness Academy account holder account holder retention account holder strategies account holder strategies; growth strategies; account holders accountability Achieve achievements Advancements Advice Agreement agreements alerts Americans analysis analytic Analytics announcement ask the expert Assistance ATMs Attendees attorneys attracting talent auto loans Automation awareness B2B Balance Bank Bank of Pacific Banking banking services banks banks and credit unions batching Benefit best practices bills board governance board member board of directors Bob Layendecker bottom line branch equipment branch profitability brand loyalty branding Bryan Hanks budget budgets bundling business business culture business environment business practices business processes business strategies calendar candy card processing cardholders career advice Career Goal CARES Act caring case studies Case Study cash CDC CEO CEO onboarding certainty CFPB Challenges change charitable Checklist Cher Cheryl Lawson Choose Chris Karstens civil litigation claim clarity class action class-action lawsuit Classroom clients Cloud Cohron collections CommFirst Federal Credit Union commitment committed Communication communications communities community community banks Community Outreach Referral Program Competition Competitive competitors Complaint Compliance compliance examinations compliance risks compliant condition conduct Conferences confidence connection Consistency Consistent consultant Consultation consultative consulting Consumer Consumer FInancial Protection Bureau consumer protection Consumer-focused Consumers Contactless Contactless cards Contingency Contingency Pricing contingency-based contingency-based fees Contract Contract Analysis Contract Negotiation contract negotiations contract negotiator Contract Optimizer Contract Renegotiations contract review contract staffing Contracts Convenience core processor contracts Cornerstone Credit Union League coronavirus corporate culture corporate governance cost costs Courtesy Pay coverage COVID-19 CPE credits Credit Card credit card contracts credit card processing credit cards credit report Credit Union Credit Union Vendor Management credit unions crisis Crissandra Fry CSS culture customer customer experience customer service customers CUVM cyber security Damian Data Data Analytics database Deal debit debit card contracts debit cards Debt deceptive Decisions Demand Letters Department of Labor Deposit deposits Development Dick Miller digital digital wallet directors Disclosed disclosure disclosures discounts Discussion Dodd-Frank Act dollars donation Donna Sumrall Dynamic earnings Economic economic recovery economy Education efficiency studies election Email Emergencies Emergency employed employee employee retention employees EMV migration enchancing productivity enforce enforcement Engagement environment Errors evaluation Evolve examiners executive search Expectations Expense expense management expense reduction expenses Experience Experiences Expert expert negotiations expertise Experts expire Facilitators families family FastTrack FDIC Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Board fee Feedback fees Field Consultant Financial Financial Institution financial institutions financial integrity financial security financial services financial stability Financial Worry FinTech fit Fixed limits Fixed-limit Floyd's Forum Forrester Franklin First Federal Credit Union Free Analysis fright full disclosure Fully Fully Disclosed fully disclosed overdraft program fund funds future Gen Z Generating Income generating leads generation Generation Z Gift Gil Johnson global Goals governance government government agencies Greenwood Credit Union Grow growth guidance Gym Halloween Hammond Happiness health Heartland Tri-State Bank hiring HKW Holiday Holidays Houston Area Food Bank Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo HR HR policies Hubur human capital human resources impact Implementation implementing important Improved improved efficiencies improved results improvements Inc. incentives income income enhancement Industry industry partners Innovate Innovative in-person Institution interest rates interests internet banking services interview strategies interview tips IT contracts Jackson Jai Jai Darden James Jamone Moore Jan Southern Jennifer Peoples Jennifer Simmons Jessica Pickett Jim Griffis Jimmy Nguyen JMFA JMFA Academy JMFA clients JMFA News JMFA Next Generation Overdraft Privilege JMFA team Joe Marsh John Cohron John M. Floyd John M. Floyd & Associates judicial justification Kelli Silvernale NCUA Kelly Flynn Kennedy knowledge law lawsuits Lawyer leaders leadership Learn Learning Legal legal risk legislative lending program Lesson leverage Limit Limits Literacy litigation litigators lives loans local Long Term Long-Term lost revenue Maggie Thompson Maintenance manage Managed management management experience Mark Roe marketing marketplace Mary Soergel MasterCard matrices Matrix Matrix-based measurable measurable results meeting Member Members mergers Midwest Region Millennial Millennials mindset minimalism minimalist Mississippi Missouri mobile Mobile Banking mobile phone app Model monetary Money monitoring Morrison & Foerster Partner mortgages Most Valuable Provider NAFCU NCUA Needs negative balance Negative Settlement Negotiate Negotiating negotiating contracts negotiator Net Operating Analysis New Decade new revenue New Year New Year's Next Generation JMFA Overdraft Privilege NOA Non-Compliant non-disclosed non-interest Non-Interest Income North Carolina NSF NSF fees Obrea Poindexter OCC Officer Oliver Ireland onboarding Online operational operations Opportunities Opportunity Opt-In organization Organizational Health Outcomes outsourcing Overdraft overdraft compliance overdraft coverage overdraft fees overdraft practices Overdraft Privilege overdraft privilege program overdraft program Overdraft programs overdraft protection overdraft protection programs Overdraft Protection Service overdraft service overdraft services overdraft strategy overdrafts overdrawn Overspending pandemic Part 2 Partner partnership Paul McFarland paycheck emergency payday loans payment cards Payments Penalties Pennsylvania performance personnel physical distancing plan planning plug and play Plus4 Credit Union podcast Podcasts policies policies and procedures Policy POS POS transaction Positive Swipe post-pandemic practice practices Press Release Privilege Manager CRM proactive problem-solving procedure Procedures process process improvement Processing product profitability Productivity Products Professional Profitability Improvement Program Program Management programs prohibited project staffing Promotions Proposals Provider providers PwC Quality quantity Reactive reality Reassess recovery Recruitment Services recruitment strategies reduce expenses refer referral refunds Reg E regional director regulation Regulation E regulations regulators regulatory regulatory consent orders relationship Relationships reliability remote Renegotiate Renewal Reporting Reputation resolutions Resources Results Retail retail operations Retaining Employees Retention Retirement revenue revenue enhancement review Richard Miller risk risks ROI Ron Jennings Roy Roy Seifert Rules Ryan Armstrong safety Sales Salesforce Satisfaction savings scary Scrutiny secrets Security senate Senior Relationship Manager service service agreements service contracts service delivery Services Sessions settlement shareholders Sheila Bridges Shopping social distancing Social Events social media socially distanced Software Solution South Carolina specialization speed Spending staff staff development staff spotlight staff training staffing staffing gaps staffing studies staffing study stakeholders standard Statistics stimulus payments Strategic Planning strategic vision Strategies Strategy streamline Stressful study succeed Success success factors successful Succession plan succession planning Support survey Susan Prell system talent team team members technology technology costs technology upgrades technology utilization temporary staff term terms Text Third-Party Expert third-party providers third-party vendor contracts third-party vendors threat three Tim Strandquist Time Tools Tools and Resources Tracking Trainer training transaction transactions Transparency Transparent Travel Treats trend trends Trey Martin Trust turnkey UDAAP uncertain times uncertainty underperforming undisclosed unemployment unfair updates upfront Upgrades Value Variable Variable Limits Vendor vendor agreements vendor contract negotiations vendor contracts vendor management services vendor performance vendors video violation Virginia VISA volunteer waives Walker Washington Washington D.C. Washington Savings Bank Webinars weeks well-rounded Westmoreland Community FCU Whitney & Company Wish list women work work ethic Workshops YouTube