Succession Management Plan: Skills and Competencies

The succession management plan outlines the activities and priorities for training potential candidates for occupying strategically important jobs within the Nike Company. An environmental scan for the enterprise has shown the tendencies of frequently changing customer preferences in choosing sports gear depending on trends, socio-economic status, and technological opportunities to access goods.

These issues are relevant for both sporting gear industry in general, and Nike in particular. SWOT analysis has shown that the main opportunity for the company’s growth is the improvement of customer needs’ analysis that might facilitate the scope of employment opportunities.

Therefore, the company needs to expand the group of employees working with company performance planning based on analysis of social and cultural trends and economic environment in target regions to adhere its performance to the requirements of the market. Technological advancement is another opportunity identified during SWOT analysis. The priority of these areas derives from the company’s business goals to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete1 in the world” (“Purpose Moves Us 3). Therefore, the identified jobs crucial for the company’s development now include advertising manager, marketing manager, and e-business manager.

Skills and Competencies

As a kind of internal recruitment, succession planning requires identifying the employees with the highest potential to occupy responsible higher-level positions due to their skills, competencies, and successful development. The key group defined in the process of human resource planning for the Nike Company is advertising, marketing, and public relations managers (Government of Canada). Accordingly, three jobs are addressed in succession planning, two of which (e-business manager and advertising manager) will be located in Canada, and one (marketing manager) will be located outside of North America. The descriptions of the jobs with the identification of their accountabilities are presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Job Title Accountabilities Location
Advertising manager “Plan, direct and evaluate the activities” of Nike’s departments responsible for developing and implementing advertising campaigns to promote the sales of sporting gear manufactured by the company (Government of Canada). Canada
Marketing manager Establish a system of distribution connections for products produced by the company outside of North America; initiate market research studies to understand the demands of the foreign market; analyze their findings, “assist in product development, and direct and evaluate the marketing strategies of establishments” (Government of Canada). Outside North America
E-business manager Plan, lead, facilitate, control and evaluate the design, “development and maintenance of Internet, Intranet and mobile applications” to ensure continuous improvement of Nike’s presence online within the realms of “public relations, communications, commercial activities, and social media management” (Government of Canada). Canada

Each of these three jobs requires specific core, role-specific, and person-specific competencies and skills. The candidates for these succession positions are expected to have them and display a readiness to train and develop those lacking. Since the three jobs exist within the same category of occupations constituting the same key group, several core competencies are thought to be of the same level of importance for each. The main competencies for the positions are presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Competencies Advertising manager Marketing manager E-business manager
Core (common for all jobs)
  • Teamwork
  • Initiative
  • Problem-solving
  • Organizing and planning
Role Specific
  • Strategic thinking;
  • Analytical thinking;
  • Change management skills;
  • Relationship building;
  • Developing others
  • Analytical thinking;
  • Flexibility;
  • Managing change;
  • Conflict management;
  • Relationship building;
  • Risk management
  • Creative thinking;
  • Analytical thinking;
  • Change management skills;
  • Leadership skills
Unique Person Specific
  • People dynamics; Emotional intelligence;
  • Communicative abilities
  • Learning dynamics;
  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Team leader
  • Technology capabilities;
  • Independent decision-making

Process of Selecting High-Potentials as Possible Successors

Nike performs according to the lean management framework when executing its work inside the company. This approach prioritizes the establishment of highly agile human resource management techniques that are capable of identifying the best employees (“Strengthening Human Resources Management”). In such a manner, the human resource department of the enterprise monitors the quality of each employee’s performance to carry out successful succession planning for the benefits of the business.

The process of selecting high-potentials as possible successors start with the identification of several individuals for each job. They might be identified on the basis of their key performance indicators from both long- and short-term perspectives. Their potential for further development and readiness to occupy the intended jobs are estimated and compared (See Figure 3).

Figure 3.

Job Title Candidates Potential Readiness Assessment
Advertising Manager John Matthews;Kate Johnson;

Michael Stevens

Has worked as an advertising copywriter since 2016;
Has been promoted to brand manager;
Newly employed with rich experience
In 12 monthsIn 5 months

Within 9 months

Marketing Manager Ann GatesRobert Williams

Catherine Jones

Recently promoted, high-quality performance;
Promoted several times within the last year, ready to relocate;
Newly employed from the main competitor
Within 6 monthsWithin 4-6 months

In 12 months

E-business Manager Andrew DeeBruce Atkinson

Anthony Robertson

Recently promoted to the head of IT department;
Working for the company for 5 years, high-quality performance
Employed form the main competitor with vast experience in e-business leading
In 12 monthsIn 6 months


Once several candidates are chosen for each position, and their potential and readiness are properly assessed and compared, the program of training and development aimed at facilitating their skills and competencies is initiated.

Training and Development Activities

The company strives to ensure the development of talent in their employees by initiating training sessions to benefit candidates’ learning opportunities. According to Cavanaugh, every company builds up its human resources potential based on the available talent by fostering the development inside the company (23). Indeed, to ensure the personal growth of each employee within the framework of the company’s development, a business entity needs to invest significant assets in the form of effort, time, and funding. In such a manner, a company has an opportunity to retain its best employees and benefit from its contribution to its strategic advancement toward achieving business goals. As Karim et al. state, “the competitive advantages of the firm depend on the knowledge and skills possessed by the employees” (25).

All these issues apply to Nike’s succession planning when tackling the strategic directions toward better customer preference recognition through major factors analysis and its application to the company’s performance. Training and development are executed via activities aimed at fostering the improvement of certain skills and competencies. Several such activities are demonstrated in Figure 4.

Figure 4.

Job Title: Advertising Manager
Training Plan Development Plan
Strategy Ensure candidates’ improvement in executing their future responsibilities at the position of advertising manager Facilitate the development of specific personal attributes and skills necessary for successful performance at the planned job
Objectives Improve change management skills, problem-solving, and relationship building Develop emotional intelligence skills and leadership skills
Key Steps Identify gaps in skills;
Provide real-life learning cases
Locate weaknesses and address them via educational literature and practical usage
Delivery Method Personal meetings for discussions;
Job-related tasks
Observation and self-reflection;
Resolutions of job-related situations;
Internal seminars
Program Length 8 weeks 10 weeks
Measures for Success Improved key performance indicators Improved team feedback
Job Title: Marketing Manager
Training Plan Development Plan
Strategy Narrow down the gap between candidates’ skills and the requirements for the position by providing training opportunities in real work environment Identify crucial elements for working abroad; provide learning opportunities through team work and learning materials.
Objectives Train leading skills;
change management;
analytical thinking
Develop conflict management skills;
Key Steps Addressing the gaps with necessary tasks to complete; real-life situations resolution and reporting on them Self-reflection, reading and learning materials provision,
Delivery Method Online training courses;
Job shadowing
Group discussions
Program Length 9 weeks 9 weeks
Measures for Success Successful testing Improved demonstration of necessary skills in the course of work
Job Title: E-business Manager
Training Plan Development Plan
Strategy Ensure candidates’ abilities to execute e-business related tasks effectively Facilitate personal attributes and soft skills to prepare the candidates for their future responsibilities
Objectives Train creative thinking, analytical thinking, and change management skills Develop independent decision-making
Key Steps Identify gaps and address them through complex technology-oriented tasks Enforce skills’ development through learning from materials and via real work tasks completion
Delivery Method Online course, group discussions, mentorship Self-reflection, group meetings; external seminars
Program Length 8 weeks 6 weeks
Measures for Success Successful testing and improved key performance indicators Positive testing and successful project completion

Monitoring Steps Outline

During the course of executing training and developing plans, the success of the planned activities needs to be controlled so that necessary adjustments may be implemented if necessary. For that matter, an outlined monitoring system is provided to incorporate such variables as particular activities, their completion, participants expected to be engaged in the activities and the place of practice. Following the monitoring steps, the facilitator can observe how effectively the training and development program is followed.

Activities Completion time Activity Participants Place
Advertising manager Personal meetings for discussions;
Job-related tasks
8 weeks Advertising manager candidates and mentors Company office
Advertising manager
Observation and self-reflection;
Resolutions of job-related situations;
Internal seminars
10 weeks Advertising manager candidates Company office
Marketing manager
Online training courses;
Job shadowing
9 weeks Marketing manager candidates Company office
Marketing manager
Group discussions
9 weeks Marketing manager candidates and mentors Company office
E-business manager
Online course, group discussions, mentorship
8 weeks E-business manager candidates and mentors Company office
E-business manager
Self-reflection, group meetings; external seminars
6 weeks E-business manager candidates Company office, conference hall

According to Mihalcea, “employees must be evaluated based on the results they achieve (current productivity) and on the competencies and behaviors they demonstrate” (293). Thus, when evaluating the success of the candidates upon program completions, HR metrics within two levels, including effectiveness and activity-based, will be applied. It will allow for comparing job-related outcomes before and after the program, as well as estimating the skill-based readiness of the potentials for executing their roles.


In conclusion, the succession plan for Nike is designed to identify the best internally available potentials for occupying strategically important positions of advertising manager and e-business manager in Canada and marketing manager outside North America. Three candidates per each of the three jobs are allocated based on their potential and readiness to start working at the new positions. Within the training and development plans, specific strategies necessary for facilitating skills for each job are developed. The participants are expected to adhere to the plan and will be monitored according to the outline.

Their performance and achievements will be evaluated as per effectiveness and activity-based performance so that the best candidates can be allocated to take the positions. When designing the succession plan, I managed to learn more about the importance of talent management. I applied critical thinking and planning skills to ensure that the chosen jobs and candidates are capable of contributing to the company’s strategic development at the moment.

Works Cited

Cavanaugh, John C. “Who will lead? The Success of Succession Planning.” Journal of Management Policy and Practice, vol. 18, no. 2, 2017, pp. 22-27.

Government of Canada. “0124 – Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Managers.” 2016. Web.

Karim, Mobarak, et al. “The Impact of Training and Development on Employees’ Performance: An Analysis of Quantitative Data.” Noble International Journal of Business and Management Research, vol. 3, no. 2, 2019, pp. 25-33.

Mihalcea, Alina. “Employer Branding and Talent Management in the Digital Age.” Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, vol. 5, no. 2, 2017. pp. 289-306.

“Purpose Moves Us”. Nike Inc. Web.

“Strengthening Human Resources Management.Purpose Nike. Web.

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