Ensuring the Future of Your Leaders through Competency-Based Succession Planning with Lauren Bethea

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – NCUA’s Lauren Bethea spoke to Convention attendees Monday evening about “Competency-Based Succession Planning” and how it is important to ensure your business builds a safety net in case key people leave, especially someone within a leadership role.

Her presentation was designed to get attendees thinking about preparations to have in place if an employee leaves. Some considerations she listed when it comes to succession planning includes the development of a written Succession Plan (and how it should be a credit union’s responsibility to have one), building the foundation for future success, and ensuring continuity of the credit union’s performance and culture.

Bethea defined succession planning using three key points:

  1. A deliberate and systematic effort by a credit union to ensure leadership continuity in key positions, retain and develop intellectual and knowledge capital, and encourage individual advancement.
  2. The process of identifying critical positions and developing action plans for individuals to assume the positions. Taking a holistic view of current and future goals, ensuring you have the right people in the right jobs today and in the future.
  3. Is not only about determining your organization’s next leader, it is a continuous process that assesses organizational needs, and creates a climate for executives to succeed. An effective succession plan is linked to the organization’s strategic plan, mission and vision.

“Succession planning is all about building your credit union’s pipeline with talented people positions and building bench strength,” she said. “It’s also about leveraging talent you already possess and developing potential.”

The process of finding and developing the right people to hold a position, especially a leadership position, takes time and proper planning. Building skills and leadership behaviors only helps to ensure a credit unions bench. Bethea discussed how the development of these skills and behaviors can only help to minimize risk and help credit unions to achieve current and future goals.

Lauren Bethea really drove home her presentation by letting her audience break out into an exercise to brainstorm what a CEO's position should entail in their own mind. 

One attendee pointed out that focusing on members is crucial when it comes to the role of a CEO because if a CEO does not care about their members, it will show.