In the recent changes and performance at RIM, shareholders should be asking themselves did the Board ever discuss Corporate Strategy with CEO and Management Succession (SMP).

With the appointment of Mr. Heins, his priority was to conduct a situation analysis that has resulted in many actions and speculations.  At their recent AGM, shareholders were updated on responsibility changes amongst the senior management team as well as more detail on their Cost Optimization Program.  From my perspective, I wondered what Mr. Heins and RIM’s Board’s efforts regarding Succession and Management Planning efforts are at this moment?  Are they focussed on being reactive with downsizing or filling vacancies or are they being proactive to prepare the organization for the future?

I hope that RIM’s CEO and the Board are embracing a proactive Succession and Management process because key driving forces – the marketplace, corporate issues/challenges, new strategies and talent development are changing rapidly.  During these turbulent times, RIM’s Board and Management have an opportunity to link their strategies with Succession and Management Planning.  I know this additional challenge can be easily overlooked with everything that RIM is dealing with; but it should not.

The Board needs to have a strategic conversation with Management about the context with their Succession and Management Planning process should work within.  Should their SMP process focus on recruiting, promoting and developing staff to deal with the marketplace dynamics or their corporate issues and challenges or fulfill on their new strategies.  Whatever their choice is, the choice will have an impact.  Once this strategic choice is decided, the Board needs to ensure they implement a systematic top-down process and communications.  Once this is done, the Board is not finished.  They must now integrate a conversation about RIM’s SMP into their agenda every meeting as well as RIM’s strategy.