More boards are taking a long-term view of succession planning, especially as we're seeing a growing trend of internal candidates wanting to be on a CEO development path. Succession planning is about ensuring the right people are ready at the right time in the right places to effectively lead and manage the organization. It isn't limited to CEOs, either. Strategic thinking and conversations around the roles of the entire C-suite, board of directors and development plans for your mid-level leaders are also important components. And the time to focus on them is now.

1. Start the Process Earlier

Often, succession planning mirrors board governance. With some waiting for the current CEO to announce an official retirement date before evaluating search firms and moving forward, more strategic-minded boards begin the process years in advance.

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