I have three interrelated questions on succession planning. Our 300-person company is coming late to the succession-management game and needs to know the best way to ramp things up quickly. Should we start at the top with our executives, or is it more important to work from the ground up, beginning with key non-executive leadership slots? And how much analysis of our regional talent market should be included in our in-house assessments? As a small company we don't really have a formal board of directors to guide our process. Is that the first thing we should do?
—Unsuccessful Succession, co-founder, services business, Amherst, Massachusetts
What is the trend among large corporations to offer retiring leaders some guidance or preparation for both the financial and emotional impact of retirement? Why do they do it and what types of services do they offer?
— Fact-finding Mission, president, consulting/legal, Los Gatos, California
What is the best strategy for succession planning in an organization that is top-heavy with aging employees?
— Looking to the Future, senior corporate D&T adviser, energy, Abu Dhabi