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Simplifying Business Succession Planning with PDP Global

by Brent W. Hubby, on May 7, 2024 2:00:00 PM

Business colleagues discussing together

Business consultants often face situations such as retirement, business expansion, turnover, or proactive emergency preparation that demand expertise in succession planning. It’s a crucial time when companies engage in thoughtful strategies to ensure key roles remain filled, keeping the gears of business continuity turning smoothly. 

PDP Global’s proven people management system gives leaders and consultants an edge in crafting well-informed succession plans. They can use PDP’s objective behavioral insights to identify what soft skills, or "essential skills" as PDP refers to them, it takes to succeed in a role and how to confidently find (or develop from within the company) a great fit.

See how PDP Global empowers business consultants to seamlessly navigate succession planning!

Know the Traits Needed for Role Success

In addition to considering which roles are essential to include during succession planning, it’s equally important to dedicate time to discern the specific traits required for success within those roles. For instance, envision a scenario where a Vice President of Sales must consistently engage with customers. Being personable and having high energy are rightfully indispensable traits to fulfill the social demands of the role. Similarly, picture a CEO tasked with revitalizing innovation within a stagnant company. Traits such as big-picture thinking and a willingness to take risks are paramount in this case. While soft skills are often challenging to quantify and commonly assessed subjectively, JobScan offers a groundbreaking solution.

JobScan is a straightforward behavioral benchmarking instrument that allows business consultants and stakeholders to rely on scientifically mapped traits versus their “gut” when determining the ideal traits needed for a role. It works one of two ways. The first way is to build an objective job model based on behavioral traits from current high performers and leadership perspectives. Or, if there aren’t any successful performers to use as a baseline, managers and leaders can provide input to adeptly shape the model. Consultants then have a solid picture of what to look for when filling a role during succession planning.

A real-world illustration of how JobScan guides recruitment and hiring goals comes from a potato chip manufacturer. The board loved the General Manager’s advancements in their Idaho facility and wanted him to replicate the success at their newest plant. With his transfer, they believed the replacement Idaho GM should have the exact same behavioral traits to continue the plant’s success. The opposite, however, was what they actually needed. The replacement GM only had to maintain the system that was already in place versus innovating new ideas like the original GM had. Therefore, the replacement would need a style that respected the systems and operating guidelines to keep the facility operating as is, because the board said, “If the plant operates the same exact way in 10 years, we will be absolutely pleased.”

Identify Potential Candidates

The next step is to identify potential candidates who possess these essential qualities. The PDP People Management System takes the guesswork out of this process with ProScan, our quick and reliable behavioral assessment with an unparalleled 98% accuracy rate. Each candidate’s ProScan report details four cornerstone traits, decision-making style, energy metrics, and satisfaction level. Consultants then compare the report to the job model to determine how suitable an individual is for the role.

If you’re trying to fill leadership roles from within the organization, you can invite people with high potential to complete the assessment. Or, if you’re hiring from the outside, ProScan seamlessly integrates into HR interviewing processes.

Talent Matching and Development

One of the significant characteristics of PDP is that the entire system is strengths-focused. If you discover an ideal fit immediately for your open role, that's fantastic. In other cases, internal talent might have the drive to advance up the ladder, but isn’t quite there yet. Leadership can leverage ProScan insights to invest time nurturing and refining the employee's skills for future growth opportunities. Tangible recommendations are available to share with the employee on how to specifically prepare for the proposed role. Keep in mind that someone will most likely not do a complete 180° on their traits. However, if they’re close to the range you’re looking for and eager to grow, they are definitely capable of adjusting. 

As an example, let’s say you have a Director of Operations leaving at the end of the year. There’s an Operations Manager that has been expressing a strong desire to stay at the company and progress. Still, he is a little too blunt, opinionated, and independent for a role requiring lots of team coordination and collaboration. In ProScan terms, he’s exhibiting higher Dominance than what the specific position’s ideal model shows. He could practice lowering his Dominance before the end of the year and be reevaluated for the role with supportive feedback and coaching. Suggestions could include moving forward with another person’s idea over his own, delegating some responsibilities and relinquishing control, plus softening delivery of critical feedback to a colleague. ProScan reports are a valuable tool for consultants to match the right people to the right role.

Success Story: #1 Cochran Auto Prepares for Succession and Sees a 46% Increase in Internal Management Promotions

#1 Cochran Auto Group is a respected auto dealer that established a notable legacy after 58 years of business. The next generation would need to carry the company through the upcoming 50 years, requiring a succession planning process more robust than whiteboards and spreadsheets to determine who would assume key roles. Leadership had an existing mentality of investing in their people and staying true to their values. They saw PDP as a great fit due to its accuracy and humanistic theme, looking at the entirety of an individual instead of focusing exclusively on their business persona.

JobScan was an indispensable guide to develop #1 Cochran’s employees to align with crucial roles. As a result, there was a 46% increase in internal promotions to their open management positions. They incorporated PDP into their processes and rely on our proven framework for long-term employee development and succession planning.

Succession Planning System for Consultants

Succession planning plays a pivotal role in ensuring the health and longevity of a company. The departure of key personnel not only results in the loss of valuable knowledge but also poses significant risks if a suitable replacement is not in place. The repercussions of poor succession can severely cost the business, leading to operational disruptions, client attrition, and the expensive process of hiring and training new employees.

The best thing a company can do is prepare in advance. Doing so will provide peace of mind that your company will thrive during times of succession. Learn how to get started with PDP today to strengthen the health of your business well into the future!

Topics:Business ConsultantsSuccession Planning