Why is Corporate Secretary Succession Planning Crucial to Your Board?

succession planning

Any board member is well aware of the value brought to the table by their corporate secretary.

It takes a rare kind of person with a versatile, finely tuned skill set to handle the always-in-flux moving parts of the role. Included in that list of attributes are highly sought-after traits such as being immaculately organized, a prompt problem solver, and a savvy, critical thinker. Plus, there’s the need to stretch a lot into a little, meaning creativity and resourcefulness are a must for the position.
Beyond that, a corporate secretary must be an exemplary communicator. And they must grasp an array of intricate legal scenarios that help keep boards – well – above board.

So, what then happens when these fantastic employees end up having to leave an organization?

In too many cases, the board of directors is left scrambling, wondering what kind of tornado sent them in disarray. Suddenly they’re scouring every black book and recruitment agency to find someone with that rare kind of expertise.

When really, if they just had utilized succession planning, their new corporate secretary would have already been prepared to fill the coveted spot.

Delving into Succession Planning

In general, throughout organizations, succession planning can be a crucial facet when grooming internal talent in more subordinate positions into the leaders of tomorrow.

It’s a motivational practice that keeps those younger talents focused on the big picture. In fact, 94% of employers who were surveyed claimed the implementation of succession planning provides a boost to their employees’ overall engagement levels.

Most importantly, it ensures the high-performing individuals on those succession plans are aptly prepared for when it’s time to move into a more prestigious role.

What Goes into Grooming a Future Corporate Secretaries?

A succession plan for a future corporate secretary is as demanding and comprehensive as the job itself.

The person being groomed for the positions needs to fill big shoes. Meaning, by the time they take over, critical ties should already be established with the board, senior management, and legal team.

Furthermore, for the transition into the new role to be a smooth as possible, these unique individuals must be privy to a wealth of valuable job-related information. To clarify, if governance, regulatory, and compliance records are lost, it’ll send the board as well as the organization to a screeching halt.

Corporate experts believe that it’s wise to hire an assistant corporate secretary who can learn the ins-and-outs of the role daily.

On top of that, have the successor sit in on board meetings that concern auditing and governance.

What else is Crucial for Future Corporate Secretaries?

The most valuable trait of an organization’s corporate secretary of the future is they must gel with management and the board.

Lastly – and this is as critical of a skill as it gets – the successor for this position must show an aptitude for crisis management. Without that one essential quality, all the other abilities virtually mean nothing. Life on the board has twists and turns for which corporate secretaries must be eternally vigilant.

If you’re on the fence about succession planning, hopefully, this article gave you a helpful nudge forward.

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