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Case Study- Succession

Case Study: Succession

Design of Succession Process for 100+ year-old company

An employee-owned United States client desired a stronger approach to Succession Planning to match their culture and business needs.  This mid-sized business hired Sarah Scala Consulting to consult, design, and coach the C-Suite through their new succession approach. This included talent evaluation using the 9-Box model, creation of Succession Development plans, and Board of Director approval.    


The Objectives of the Project:

During our first gathering facilitated by Sarah, I recognized right away that her energy, skills, and personality would be a great fit for our community. Her passion for defining, developing, and leading programs has led us further to a culture of learning and change. Sarah has worked with us on the development of our succession and coaching. I would highly recommend her for these projects and other organization development initiatives.
— Chief Human Resources Officer
  1. Design a Succession approach that would allow the client company to plan and prepare for expected changes in leadership
  2. Teach and Coach C- Suite members through the evaluation of talent
  3. Prepare client to implement the process the following year


Questions Guiding this Project:

  • What was the current succession process? What were the pros and cons to this approach?
  • What solution would they like the new approach to succession to provide?
  • What concerns and desires did the C-Suite team have about changing the process?


Services Provided:

  • Design of new succession process
  • Consulting
  • Coaching



  1. Reviewed current process with Vice President of HR and CEO.
  2. Suggested a 9-box approach - client completed this process twice (6 months in between) for executive team, directors, and manager level employees to ensure agreement on placement.
  3. Succession 9-Box results were shared with and approved by Board of Directors.
  4. Coached each member of the C-Suite team through designing development plans for each person evaluated to close competency gaps.  
  5. Development plans were finalized with feedback from identified high-potential employees.


  • Client adopted a process to work through Succession Planning and Succession Development, especially important for roles that were anticipating movement or turnover, and for high-potential employees.
  • Client organization experienced employee turnover within one year of the new process.  This process provided a map to move forward, having identified who could be promoted or be developed for higher roles in the company.