Benedict XVI

Andrew Hill

Spanish Crown Prince Felipe Photo: Reuters

A couple of royal handovers and a papal resignation and suddenly abdication – which used to have a near uniformly negative connotation – is all the rage. 

Andrew Hill

Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager of Manchester United gives the management world another example of how to bow out when you are, frankly, getting a bit elderly.

On this topic, we now have four great templates – the Pope, the Queen of England, Warren Buffett and Sir Alex – each of which could be applied by organisations whose leaders are grappling with questions about the frailty and mortality of their leaders. 

Andrew Hill

Pope Benedict XVI. Getty Images

How does the Pope’s decision to step down measure up against best practice in corporate succession planning?

Luckily, the Association of British Insurers – which issues regular guidance on governance issues – has recently, ahem, pontificated on this matter, recommending that companies improve their succession planning and have strong candidates ready to take over as chief executive.