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Great Opportunity for JHU to Enhance Succession Management Strategies

Johns Hopkins University's Office of Talent Management and Organization Development (TMOD) provides a deliberate and integrated approach to attract, develop, and retain employees who possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet current and future organizational needs.

What is Succession Management?

One of the key strategic processes offered by TMOD is Succession Management. Succession Management, also referred to as Succession Planning, is a deliberative and systematic effort by an organization to ensure leadership continuity in key positions. This strategic process serves to minimize leadership gaps and ensures that an organization has a steady, reliable, "just-in-time" pipeline of talent that will meet its future needs in leadership and other key roles. Succession Management allows organizations to plan for the future success of both the organization and the employees.

Organizations frequently fail to recognize that their future success is dependent in part on identifying key roles, the skills required, and the individuals best suited to assume those roles in the future.

A solid succession management process can help an organization prepare for departures, both planned and unplanned, of employees in critical positions. Knowing where the organization's talent lies today, and knowing what talent will be needed in the future has been consistently recognized by organizational experts as a true competitive advantage.

Within the University, there are some leaders who have recognized the value of Succession Management. Dean Martha Hill and the School of Nursing Academic & Administrative Leadership Team partnered with TMOD to be an early "pilot" for the new Succession Management process. The school's successful implementation of this process aligned with their strategic plan, and integrated with other Talent Management processes (e.g. competency development, leadership development, and performance management). The school now serves as a model for other areas in the University who may be considering Succession Management to ensure that they identify and develop the talent needed to meet the short- and long-term goals and advance employees in their career development.

Key Steps in Succession Management

  1. Review & refine organizational strategic objectives
  2. Identify critical roles required to achieve the strategic objectives
  3. Define leadership role requirements/competencies
  4. Identify and assess current and future leadership capabilities
  5. Conduct systematic talent reviews/make decisions
  6. Reinforce the execution of development plans
  7. Monitor progress against success measures and adapt where necessary

What will we see, if we do Succession Management right...?

  • We would leverage performance management as the first step in a Succession Management process
  • In addition to performance, people (talent) would be assessed on several other dimensions.
  • Information about talent would be routinely shared across boundaries.
  • We would ensure that diversity & inclusion are a key component of our Succession Management process
  • We'd be having targeted development discussions with all of our people.
  • We'd be paying special attention to our most promising people and having conversations about them and how the University might best take advantage of what they have to offer
  • We would have discussions with people and discussions about people career plans

If you and your organization are interested in learning more about Succession Management and how TMOD can help you identify, develop, and increase the quality and bench strength of your department or division's leadership/talent pipeline, please contact Debbie Sampson, Sr. Director Talent Management & Organization Development at 443-997-4769 or e-mail

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