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External CEOs have  84% greater chance of turnover in first 3 years (usually from low performance)than internal CEOs (*)


Destruction of shareholder value due to poor succession value S&P  1500


Still, S&P1500 companies hired their CEOs from outside from 2014 to 2018 (**)

+26% of the time

The increase in company valuations and investor returns if they did have better succession planning (large-cap US equity market)


And external CEO candidates are paid 15% more than internal hires

$780 billion

Median CEO tenure across the S&P 500 

4.8 years

Share of incomming female CEOs into these 2500 largest public companies


S&P 1500 companies hire their CEOs from



The risks you face if you are not "succession ready"

If you are a CEO or in the Executive Team, not having a succession plan for yourself is a serious risk to the organisation that creates serious harm to the organisation:

Lost strategic direction

Proper succession planning ensures that the organization's strategic vision and long-term goals remain intact, even during leadership transitions. Without it, the organization risks strategic disruption, as new leaders may struggle to align with the existing vision or may lack the necessary background to continue executing key initiatives. This can delay or derail critical projects, impacting the organization's growth and market position.

A costly last minute rush that may result in failure

In the absence of a well-thought-out succession plan, organizations may find themselves in a costly last-minute rush to fill critical positions. This reactive approach can lead to poor hiring decisions and potential failures, as hastily chosen leaders may lack the necessary skills and fit. Customers, analysts, potential talent and other stakeholders will grow increasingly uneasy at the lack of foresight that continues to harm the future of the organisation.

Financial Harm

The financial implications of poor succession planning can be significant. The costs associated with unplanned leadership changes, such as executive search fees, severance packages, and onboarding expenses, can strain the organization's budget. Additionally, operational disruptions and strategic misalignment can lead to lost revenue opportunities and decreased profitability. A well-structured succession plan mitigates these risks by ensuring smooth leadership transitions and sustained financial health.

A loss of intellectual capital and innovation drive

When key employees leave without successors, the organization loses valuable intellectual capital and the drive for innovation. The absence of experienced mentors can stifle creativity and hinder the development of new ideas and solutions.

No clear career progression

Employees in organizations without succession plans often face a lack of clear career progression, leading to disengagement and high turnover rates. This uncertainty can discourage top talent from staying and growing within the company.

Threat to talent retention and attraction 

Poor succession planning can significantly hinder an organization's ability to retain and attract top talent. Without clear advancement opportunities and well-defined career paths, current employees may feel undervalued and uncertain about their future within the company, leading to increased turnover. Additionally, potential recruits may be deterred by the perceived lack of growth prospects and organizational stability, making it difficult to attract high-caliber candidates who seek long-term career development and security.

Resignation of critical executives 

An organization that neglects succession planning may experience a significant talent drain and loss of institutional knowledge. Key employees possess critical skills and insights that are essential to maintaining competitive advantage and operational continuity. If these employees leave without having trained or mentored successors, the organization can suffer from a steep learning curve, reduced productivity, and potential operational setbacks as new employees struggle to fill the void.

A culture that suffers

Without a clear successor, a sudden departure of a key leader can create a vacuum, leading to uncertainty and instability within the organization. We see decreased productivity, an erosion of confidence, power struggles, loss of vision, and talent attrition.

Impaired productivity

Without succession planning, productivity suffers due to leadership vacuums, employee uncertainty, and loss of institutional knowledge, which disrupt operations and decrease morale. This instability can also erode investor confidence, impacting funding and growth.

How I work with you

Strategy and Planning

  • Interview Board, current executive, clients, futurists, industry experts, analysts, to determine the future context for the position we are planning for

  • Determine the critical capabilities and behaviour to meet this new context

  • Design the assessment process, timelines, communication internally and externall

  • Match with the external search process, guaranteeing independence of search process

Why work with me in Succession Planning? 

I have designed, advised, implemented and developed succession planning for over 30 organisations including from an external consulting position and from within as the Chief People Officer.  These include CEO succession for ASX top 10, top 20 and top 40 organisations. 

A 35-year career offering four capabilities that few people can offer in the market when it comes to assessing the potential of executives.  

The foresight of a Stanford-MBA/Booz-Allen-trained strategist who can 
a) Spar with potential candidates  as they imagine the unimaginable future and then
b) Produce a strategy that makes the complex to the simple-- and then the simple to compelling


The pragmatism of a project manager of world-sized events with four years as head of operational planning for the Sydney Olympics 2000) -- that can assess how well executives can make these strategies into successful implementation


The astute, logical and intuitive judgement to assess and develop executives and their teams 
 across at least 20 industries for the last three decades -- and the experience of creating systemic talent and culture programs inside as a Chief People Officer

The psychological insight of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness as an accredited psychotherapist for over a decade, counselling executives on issues such as depression, addiction, work overload, relationship challenges, career transition, meaning

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