- Does your organization have a succession plan?
Yes. It has a well-laid out succession plan to ensure that the top CEO remains close to the shareholders and he is not affected by numerous expectations from the shareholders.
- Why it’s important for the company to have succession planning?
- Preparedness: Having a succession planning in place enables organizations to identify employees who can take up important roles in case the current office holders resign or quit to start their own businesses
- Succession plan also saves time and money on the part of the organization. Promoting and training existing staff saves time that would have been used for recruiting, interviewing and checking references.
- The planning reveals weaknesses within an organization. This would enable an organization to know areas to work on in order to secure its financial and business growth.
- Greater perspective: when an organization evaluates its workforce, it gains new perspectives on the kind of talents it has at its disposal. Identifying the person to fill positions of others would enable the organization to identify what the person needs to know and the skills to develop. An effective succession planning must incorporate the services of middle managers as well as the top executives. Contributions from the middle managers are very important in creating a comprehensive successive plan.
- Selection of internal employees is strategic because such employees understand the goals, culture and the general operations of an organization
- Is there minimum or maximum life span for each position?
Looking at the seven CEO the company has had in the past, it is clear that there is no minimum or maximum life span a person is expected to have in the top position.CEO are replaced in line with their performance in the company. Most of them were replaced because of their failure to deliver as expected by the organization while Steve Jobs stepped down because of health issues.
- Michael Scott: 1977-1981
- Mike Markkula: 1981-1983
- John Scully: 1983-1993
- Michael Spindler: 1993-1996
- Gil Amelio: 1996-1997
- Steve Jobs: 1997-2011
- Tim Cook: 2011-present
- Does the education level affect the position? How?
- Education remains a major factor considered by Apple when hiring people for his top positions. The scenario is the same with other established organizations, where unless you are a founder, then education is the number one factor that determines your suitability for the executive positions. Education is a major factor when choosing new positions in any organization.
- When your education is less than a high school diploma then the highest you can expect to start is at the entry level positions.
- People with high school diploma could find themselves in the manufacturing departments with modest pay compared to entry level positions.
- If you have a college education with no degree, then your chances would be in jobs that do not require degree qualification.
- Top management requires both the high education levels and experience in related field.
- How long after being appointed will their work be evaluated? And how will it be evaluated?
Again, going back to the trend of top executives at the organization, it is clear that evaluation begin at the first year of appointment. When the CEO does not satisfy the expectation of the company then in most cases he has to make way for others. They are executives who performed badly in their first year and had to live the position. There are five ways in which the top executives are evaluated:
- How they set stages for success
- The ability to deconstruct their job description
- How they review and provide constructive feedbacks
- Their impact on the organization’s financial gain
- How they progress from their first day a one-year period
- How does the organization identify potential talent?
- The first method used by Apple organization in identifying talents is diving into action. Whenever Jobs was out sick, the organization had chosen a replacement to stand in for him. They maintained one man and this enabled them to identify talents in him.
- Discover: the organization discovered the talents that Tim Cooke had in him. This was possible because of the opportunity that he was given by the organization to stand in for CEO
- Talent selection: The organization has rich pool of talents must select one from the group of highly talented individuals. This is true even with earlier appointments where the group selected talents from potential individuals.
- Keep upgrading: the company identifies talents that would upgrade the whole organization in the rapidly changing and competitive environment.
- Focus on perfection: the organization seeks talents that would make it better than it was with the last CEO. These talents are required to motivate, share knowledge and inspire the whole organization to greater heights. In the case of Apple, Steve jobs inspired people to share his vision for the company and now that he is not around, his vision and legacy lives on. It would remain so in the entire existence of the company.
- How the company develops staff at the senior and middle levels?
The organization believes in giving qualified young people a chance to develop their careers. It is committed towards developing its staff. It uses university model of curriculum where employees are expected to achieve specific skills after sometime. The areas of concern include; people development, technical ability, contribution to financial success of the company, client services and business development. In order to achieve, the organization develops staff in the following ways:
- Prioritizing communication
- Having bespoke events for managers in the middle level
- Encouraging managers to link up with other levels
- Implementation of trust determination system
- Adapting to the needs of the organization
- Do all the talent employees in the company and out of the company get equal opportunity to be candidate for the top position?
The past trend shows that the organization gave all its employees and potential candidates from outside the same opportunity of being top executive. The trend has showed that internal employees have high chances of succeeding as top executives hence the organization could favor them in the future.
- What kind of challenge does the company face when they design succession plan?
The first challenge that the organization had with its succession plan was the rejection of the proposal by shareholders. The shareholders argued that the organization had its succession plan already and that making it public would not be of Apple’s best interest. In the past, the organization faced the following challenges:
- Lack of adequate training and mentoring
- The organization did not understand that the talents needed were within
- Another challenges faced even now is timing of when to start training a “new blood”
- Ensuring that the process is fair to all qualified talents
- How far the succession ladder needs to go; does it need to reach the middle management or just the top management?
- Does the company make a list of the best talents after evaluation? How long do you keep your records?
The company does keep the records for the best talents. The records remain with the company as long as they can be used for future reference. This means that all best talents still have their records with the company.