A change in leadership is a time of flux and change for everyone – the leader and the team.
This leadership transition is really two events in one and each of these events can be challenging. The first event is the transfer of responsibilities including key initiatives and stakeholder relationships from the previous leader to the new leader.
The second event is the new leader establishing an effective leadership style, fostering new relationships and developing value-creating strategies in their new role and with their new teams.
These transitions create potential risks at every level of the organization and profitability, productivity and positivity can be negatively affected. In fact, research has shown that nearly 50% of leader transitions fail.
Leader transition research conducted by Kathleen Ozmun and Marielle Gauthier, found a number of serious risks that can impact your business operations. These risks and impacts include:
- interruption of business and service
- financial cost increases and revenue loss
- staffing challenges
- work relationship difficulties
- under-resourced leadership development
- uncertainty about transition timing and process and
- the inability to engage in strategic thinking and planning.
Here are some questions to consider the risks and impacts of your leader transitions:
- What are potential risks for your business?
- What may interrupt your business and service?
- What costs may not be factored into the transition process?
- What key messages do you need to send about the leader transition? To whom?
- How will you maintain strong relationships with stakeholders throughout the leader transition?
For questions to assess your current situation, read our article on Leader Transition is Risky Business.
Find out more about the risks of leader transitions at the ‘Leader Transition Is Risky Business’ Lunch and Learn, January 27, 2021.