The recent demise of the Chairman of a top tier Nigerian bank brings to mind the necessity for proper succession planning on the Board of directors.
Succession planning is a process by which individuals are scanned to pass on the leadership role within a company. The process ensures that business continues to operate efficiently without the presence of people who were holding key positions as they must have retired, resigned,etc.
A Board succession policy outlines the process that Boards and committees need to use for planning to replace board members, a board chair and executive directors, either because of an existing vacancy or to plan for the future vacancy of a position.
Led by the Chairman, the Board members are to create a succession plan that details how the roles of all directors including the Chief Executive Officer are to be filled in the event of a vacancy. The succession plan should also include emergency succession procedures in the case of sudden death. Best practice further requires that the succession plan be contained in a document. Regular review of the succession plan is also necessary to ensure that the desired qualities for each position is stated clearly without ambiguity. Agreeing on the qualification of prospective successors before the need arises will help to ensure an orderly, deliberate transition while avoiding uncertainty and destabilizing political maneuvering
 A practical guide to CEO succession planning: Ensuring a successful leadership transition http://www.russellreynolds.com/newsroo/a-practical-guide-to-ceo succession-planning
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