Ten Key Practices

  1. Have a strong, involved board
  2. Continually expose top management to the board
  3. Encourage the next generation of CEO prospects to get early experience with outside boards, the media and financial community
  4. Create an active executive or operating committee so more executives get exposure to an overview of the company, its strategy and issues
  5. Do succession planning on an on-going, real-time basis
  6. Take as much human drama out of the process as possible (keep in mind how hard it is on number twos)
  7. Tie some of the CEO's compensation to succession planning and progress
  8. Pay directors in stock and ask them to make additional investments in the company's shares
  9. Calibrate the internal candidates with external ones
  10. Develop a culture that encourages succession (a la Built to Last)