succession planningIt’s that time of year again when everyone is making resolutions for a new year. If you are a business owner or CEO of a business of any size, now would be a good time to review and update your succession plan.

One of the best places to start with an updated succession plan is to review what happened in the past year.

Taking stock of what you did and didn’t achieve as an organization can help identify not only where you want to go in the coming years, but it can also illuminate key personnel who may be instrumental to your organization going forward.

Begin With What Worked

When people set goals or resolutions they often consider what wasn’t achieved as a reason to ‘go for it’ in the new year.

With succession planning, taking stock of accomplishments and the people whose involvement was instrumental in the achievement can be an important factor in determining who or what will be critical in a company going forward.

Employees and processes that habitually contribute to the growth of the organization may be well suited to consideration in a succession plan because their business values align with the values of the company, even if their job function or title may be inconsistent with a role in succession.

Furthermore, this creates an opportunity to groom certain roles today for future involvement at a higher executive level.

Review What Isn’t Working

Too often, succession plans stick to a known and predictable format. This person is next in line, this title performs this role and is a natural fit for succession. But if weaknesses or deficiencies in the operational performance of the company are tied to people or departments that are underperforming, perhaps they shouldn’t be part of a future succession plan.

By identifying what isn’t moving the ball forward, a revised succession plan can account for the immediate as well as future needs and goals of the company.

Think Like a Chess Player

Good chess players are always three or four moves ahead of their opponent. When considering changes or enhancements to your corporate succession plan, think several moves – or in this case, CEOs – ahead. This will allow for a nimble and flexible plan that can change and adapt to unforeseen business and personnel challenges. It will also help keep the bench deep as you look to keeping strong players in key positions.

The strength of a resolution often depends on the specifics of it. People who resolve to lose 10 pounds tend to be more successful than people who resolve to lose weight. Add detail and dimension to your succession plan. Map out what our company will look like in 6 months and 6 years. Tell a story about what you envision as the future of the organization.

For help with succession planning and other aspects of professional development and management, call our offices today at 847-382-2600 to speak with one of our consultants. At Mooney Lyons, we pride ourselves on helping businesses and individuals plan strategically for today, and tomorrow.