From the Inside Flap
It has been estimated that 40% of executives fail within the first 18 months on the job, regardless of whether they were hired from outside the company or promoted from within. This failure rate is becoming enormously costly for businesses. The annual cost of CEO departures is $14 billion dollars in the United States alone. Despite an overabundance of resources targeting incoming executives, this trend shows no signs of reversing. So, the arrival of Transitions at the Top is cause for celebration, because this is the first book that addresses the real core of the issuethe management of CEO transitions by major players within the company.
Board members, outgoing CEOs, human resources executives, and senior managers play an absolutely crucial part in ensuring that incoming CEOs are successful in those critical first eighteen months. Without organization, planning, and strategy on the part of these leaders, CEO transitions are problematic at the outset. Yet major players tend to think their job ends as soon the board's offer is accepted. Transitions at the Top explains why this is a myth, and why it's one of the most costly rrors a business can make. The key people involved with C-suite transitions have the power to ensure that the transition is successfulif they understand their oles and follow the necessary steps.
Leadership transition is more complex than many realize, affecting the company's strategy, operating efficiency, and culture. The authors of Transitions at the Top break down every stage in the process, including the adjustments required by everyone involved. These include individual adjustments on the part of the outgoing CEO, the directors, and others, and also large-scale systemic adjustments that involve everyone, at every level. In many ways, these systemic changes are really where the challenge of CEO transitioning lies. This book details the fundamental strategic, political, cultural, and operational tasks that each of the key stakeholders must perform in order to secure a successful change of leadership.
Transitions at the Top may just be the missing link for the growing number of organizations that need to successfully manage leadership changes. With chapters dedicated to board members, outgoing CEOs, Chief Human Resources Officers, and senior managers, this book delivers must-know information within an overall transition framework that, based on the authors' more than eighty years of combined experience, works. By focusing on the real driving forces on the organization's side of the transition equation, Transitions at the Top proves indispensable to the success of an organization at this game-changing time.
From the Back Cover
Ensure the Success of Critical C-Suite Transitions from Within
"Without a doubt, corporations have raised their game on the use of various techniques to improve the likelihood that externally hired talent will succeed in their most business-critical roles. What many companies haven't done, however, is to spend the same amount of time on building a set of transition practices to further increase the probability these executives will thrive and prosper in their new roles and in their new companies. The cost of a failed transition is monumental, and comes in the form of missed market opportunities, a loss of business momentum, reputational damage, and potential damage to the credibility of the CEO and/or the company-s board of directors. Fortunately, Dan Ciampa and David Dotlich outline a practical, compelling playbook that if properly executed, will substantially increase the chance of success in senior leadership transitions. A timely and important book on a very important subject."
L. Kevin Cox, Chief Human Resources Officer, American Express Company; Director, Kraft Foods Group; Director, Corporate Executive Board
"Senior transitions are seminal events but are often botched, at great cost to the company and its shareholders. Too often succession decisions are made by a board, with those crucial first months then left entirely to the new manager to navigate. This book takes a different vantage point and illuminates the critical role of the company, its board, and senior managers in making sure those vital successions work. Written in a straightforward, practical manner, a must read for all involved."
Ken Leibler, former CEO of Liberty Financial Companies and former President of the American Stock Exchange; Director, Northeast Utilities; Trustee, Putnam Investments Funds
"Transitions at the Top is a welcome, long-overdue addition to our thinking about leadership and transitions. Far too little attention has been paid to the dynamics and consequences of CEO succession, especially to the critical role the organization plays in driving success or failure. As Ciampa and Dotlich clearly demonstrate, the costs of botched succession processes are very high. And what it takes to make them work is not rocket science, nor is it overly costly or burdensome. It just takes discipline, clarity about roles, and unswerving commitment to the right principles and processes. Follow their advice and the result will be world-class succession planning and implementation. This is a book that every CEO, Board member and senior HR executive should read."
Michael Watkins, Author of First 90 Days, Co-Founder of Genesis Advisors