The Importance of Succession Planning
When everything is going well, creating and maintaining a succession plan might not seem like a top priority. However, it is a critical element when thinking strategically about your business. Without it, your business will be left vulnerable in the event of unexpected departures, employee retirement or partnerships that just don’t work out.
You and your business must always be prepared and proactive, not reactive.
How it helps for the future…
It provides assurance that if your business ownership changes in any way, you have straightforward and legally binding plans in place.
Succession planning allows you to identify the people within your organisation that are capable of stepping up and taking on big important roles. If a key member of your team leaves unexpectedly, a sudden scramble to search for candidates outside of the business won’t necessarily leave you with the best result. Nurture someone within the business, who knows it from the inside out.
If you are entering into a partnership with someone, a succession plan will put procedures in place in case anything go wrong (we don’t wish for it – but it happens, and it gets messy!).
You can’t possibly plan exactly for the future, but be prepared for a variety of outcomes.
How it helps now…
The advantage of having an updated succession plan, here and now, is that it creates opportunity for growth and development within your everyday operations.
In the process of identifying future leaders, you will notice the potential of your employees: Who are the best candidates for big leadership roles? What are everyone’s specialities? Is there any one employee you are dependant on more than others? How can you transfer knowledge and training evenly across the board?
If forces you to holistically examine your goals, and the strengths and weaknesses of the business. You can identify competency gaps that need to be addressed. In closing those gaps employees are ‘up skilled’, and gain an increased sense of responsibility.
Make a succession plan about improving your business as a whole, so when change inevitably strikes – no matter what it may be – the business will be able to adapt to that change as smoothly as possible. Succession planning should be part of the underlying culture of the company, where everyone is encouraged to be proactive and prepared.
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