Organizations need to act quickly to provide a transition plan after a sudden change in leadership.

Continental Resources Inc. is currently the largest organization operating in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation, and many analysts predict a strong future outlook for the company. This made the news of the resignation of its president and chief operating officer, Rick Bott, all the more surprising. 

Bott left Continental Resources Inc for undisclosed reasons, despite being a front-runner to succeed current Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm. According to industry news source Rigzone, his departure leaves a talent gap at the top of the company, which is in the midst of an ambitious attempt to double its 2012 production levels before 2017. 

During a change in leadership, organizations need to take action to ensure minimal losses in productivity. Change management consulting can help to identify the best means of providing a smooth transition and ensure that teams understand what changes, if any, will be made.

Often, an unexpected departure can have negative effects on morale and trust in an organization. Remaining leadership should act quickly to address any concerns employees hold and answer any questions they may have about the organization's future. 

It is also important to quickly draft and disseminate an effective transition plan. This sets the tone for the transition and can inspire renewed confidence in personnel about the direction and continuity of the organization. 

Sudden changes in leadership can pose a significant challenge, but with the right insight, it is possible for organizations to emerge stronger and better able to face existing challenges. Regardless of the reason for the departure, employees and stakeholders expect stability in leadership, and quick action when a gap in leadership occurs.