Succession Planning

Good Corporate Governance and due process suggests that a comprehensive and rigorous approach be adopted in assisting Nominations Committees and Boards in selecting the most suitable individual for the position of Chief Executive Officer and other top management roles in an organisation from both internal and external candidates.

Such an approach provides the major Shareholders and Stakeholders with the assurance that the very best candidate(s) have been selected for the position.

Over the past twenty-five years Woodburn Mann (Pty) Limited has developed and honed a methodology to assist clients with their Succession Planning. Many of South Africa's top Executives have been selected using one or more of the processes outlined below.

Phase 1 : Assessment of Internal Candidate(s)

The Client selects one or more of the organisation's senior first line Executives whom they believe may have some or all of the qualities required for internal promotion to fill the role in question.

For the assessment of internal promotion of candidate(s), use is made of one or more of the following methodologies depending on the Client's requirements and/or preferences.

  • Comprehensive generic subjective interview undertaken by two senior executive search consultants from Amrop Woodburn Mann so as to ensure complete objectivity
  • Competency based interview also undertaken by two executive search consultants from Amrop Woodburn Mann
  • Comprehensive psychometric assessment undertaken by a specialist Industrial Psychologist
  • Verification of the individual's qualifications directly with the academic or professional institution awarding the candidate's degree(s)/professional qualification(s).
  • Verbal references and perceptions from one or more sources (subject to confidential constraints and in consultation with the client):
    • Superiors under whom the candidate has worked
    • Major customers
    • Major suppliers
    • Suppliers
    • Shareholders
  • Benchmarking the internal candidate(s) against the profiles of comparable Senior Executives whom Amrop Woodburn Mann has formally interviewed and assessed over the past few years.

Based on the above processes, a comprehensive report is compiled, drawing conclusions, highlighting any areas of concern should they be identified, and making a definitive recommendation as to the suitability of the internal candidate(s).

Phase 2 : Comprehensive Research Based Executive Search

Based on the conclusions and recommendations emanating from the assessment of the internal candidate(s), and in consultation with the Client, a decision is taken as to whether to appoint an internal candidate to the Senior Executive position. If there are any doubts as to the suitability of the internal candidate(s), or the need for a comparison with the "rest of the best" in the world, a decision is taken as to whether Amrop Woodburn Mann should embark on a comprehensive research based external Executive Search to identify the best available candidate(s) in the market.

Phase 3 : Executive Coaching and Counselling

Subject to the outcome of Phases 1 and 2 above, and in consultation with the Client, Amrop Woodburn Mann could provide, through its strategic alliance partners, Executive Coaching and/or Counselling, should this be considered necessary for either the individual appointed to the position and for those members of the Executive team who may feel aggrieved by the appointment.

Phase 4 : Monitoring Progress of Successful Candidates

During the first year in office Amrop Woodburn Mann has a policy of keeping in close contact with both the client and successful candidate to ensure a successful induction and achievement of the expected performance of the candidate.