Can you future-proof your business?
No business can be run without the key roles being replaced with suitable, talented people when the current occupants, family members, decide to either take a back seat or call it a day. The most successful of businesses can easily hit a wall if a solid succession plan is not in place. Irrespective of the company size, all organisations should plan for a successful succession. This is more so for small family-run businesses.
In our work, we very often encounter a similar pattern of lifecycles. Members of the family who gave birth to a business idea and grew the business steadily to an unprecedented level, often lead themselves to believe that successful practices and methods that helped grow the business to that stage will keep working in future.
What is succession planning?
Succession planning is a strategy for identifying future leaders for your company and its continuity. It does not stop at top roles – it impacts other key roles across different levels. It helps your business prepare for contingencies by preparing potential successors to take the business to new heights, new boundaries, growing steadily and sustainably in a seamless manner. So, how do you go about preparing for such an eventuality?
Think about the day that you or your immediate relation, who is running at the helm of the business, is thinking of taking the next leap into retirement. Not all surprises are worth waiting for; it may not be so easy to replace key positions and that is the reason you need to plan now so you can future-proof into a smooth transition.
The first leap towards a seamless future of the business is identifying the need to plan. Once this has been acknowledged, it is essential to identify the prospective candidates. Successful practices that have worked and helped to grow the business to its standing today can be transcended smoothly and passed on to the rightful candidate. It is not wise to assume that the next person in line in the organisational structure will be the next best fit.
The person/s have been identified but can they perform under increased pressure? – Do not wait for the day of departure to let the identified successor fill in the shoes. Do a trial run – let the person assume responsibilities. This will be an opportunity for the person to shine and an invaluable experience for both the company and the successor. This will help you assess whether the person might need additional training and development.
There is no such thing as a single successful recipe for succession planning. However, it has to rest on the following four pillars:
i. Strong governance structures with little dependency on the owners
ii. Sound business, financial and capital planning
iii. Promote an ambitious change culture – what worked yesterday will not work tomorrow
iv. Be driven by creating value in everything you do
Luckily, there are consultants who can identify and highlight key critical areas and provide methodologies which are circled around the company’s requirements for future transitioning and eventual growth of the business.
Opening up to this company culture is a key step in ensuring a successful growth strategy for the company’s future. There are ways of making the transitionary period smoother for companies and planning is the key essential part of this approach.
Talk to us today for more information on how your business can embark on this strategy and transition into the fast-paced and changing future.