'Succession boom' a challenge for many organizations

One-half not prepared to replace retiring business leaders: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/16/2011

Canadian business leaders and owners are seeking stability and certainty while adjusting to post-recession life, according to a survey by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV).

While the economy is recovering sporadically, the recession's lasting impact altered critical leadership tools — forecasting and trust are broken, found the survey of more than 200 Canadian executives. As a result, caution and deep due diligence are far more important than ever before.

The coming “succession boom” (the need to replace retiring business leaders and senior employees) has made generational change an issue in many companies, and more than one-half of those surveyed admit their organizations are not prepared.

Going forward, employers agreed being lean is the best way to meet the challenge of volatility, found CICBV. The most important steps include improved internal processes and cutting costs (23 per cent), staffing and reduced or static wage increases (11 per cent), selecting staff more carefully (eight per cent) and reduced production (eight per cent).

"The leaders and owners who do well aren't sitting back and waiting for something to happen. They're getting tougher on the numbers, widening their circle of advice, addressing internal inefficiencies and growing by taking advantage of new market realities,” said incoming CICBV chair Eleanor Joy. “Uncertainty may dominate the conversation, but as one leader said, we're learning to manage in chaos."

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