Well, the comments are in and it’s unanimous… We all know we need to focus on succession planning! And furthermore, it looks like EVERYONE is having the same 2 issues…
We either don’t have enough time in the day/week/month/year or…
We don’t know where to start!
Thank you for your emails, comments and calls; it was fun to hear from some of you we haven’t spoken with in a while! Here are a few things to get you started.
Think with the end in mind.
The best place to start thinking about succession planning is to think with the end in mind. Where do you want to be? Is your ‘end game’ to merge with another company? To retire and allow your company to live on (and continue to get a paycheck)? To sell and live on an island? Whatever it looks like, the plan is the same. Start with the end and work backwards to get there.
Here’s an example, let’s look at a plan for retirement that leaves your company intact. Is your company built around you? Depending on the size of your company, we have found that all too often the principal of the company IS the company. While this presents a challenge, it’s not one that can’t be overcome. You just need to put in motion a plan to set it up so that it can thrive on its own.
That includes 3 things: having a plan, having a process and preparing your team.
Have a plan.
Be sure that you have a written plan that includes dates and significant milestones. Know what you want and by when. Plans can change, plans can be altered, but take the time to think about what the path should be and how much time you really have to implement it.
Have a process.
This is the biggie. If you are the only one who knows how to do things, how to find things, or where things are, or you have one crucial employee who knows these things, you have your work cut out for you. You need to make sure that the process of completing the job or running the company is not dependent on your personal involvement.
Prepare your team.
This tags onto #2. Once you determine what the process needs to be, you can start preparing your team to take various roles. Perhaps some training is involved, definitely mentoring will be needed. But create a plan to help your team step into the roles that you need them to play in order to execute the vision. Give them a lot of room to grow, and don’t make them feel like you’re constantly looking over their shoulder. The people that you will ultimately trust to run your company, without you, need to feel empowered and be allowed to put their mark on it. You would want the same.
We acknowledge that this is a simplified outline for succession planning, and know that a lot more goes into it, but this will at least get you started. We love succession planning and we’d love to help you! Give us a call!
Grow big or go home!