So who really likes thinking about an end, especially if you are having a good time? Although when it comes to succession planning, whether for your business or critical position, it is necessary. It is necessary to think about an end and to be forced into thinking about a new beginning or chapter.
Most people thrive on a level of certainty. When you were young, you didn’t have to think too much about your future, until you got into high school and everyone started asking you what you were going to do with your life. It can be a tough period of time for a young adult because there are so many different options accompanied with the fear of making a mistake in picking.
This same thing happens when it comes to succession planning. If you are the business owner being asked what your exit plan is from your business or if you are being asked to identify a successor for your position or other positions in the company, the same mechanics are at play. For you personally, there are many different options and there will be some fear around whether you are doing the right thing in choosing. It is a topic that is often avoided or put off, until it is too late. Either something happens to the business owner and they are required to sell or close up shop, getting far less than they imagined for their business or someone retires, and everyone scrambles to find someone to fill the position.
We believe the first step to succession planning comes in building a future beyond the current position. We understand it can be difficult to let go of what you currently have without being excited and trying out something new. Once you have a plan for the future, it is easier to let go of the present and to build a succession plan.
Here are some steps to follow:
Identify what you would like to do specifically, if you were to leave your current position. People like to feel a sense of purpose, so build purpose into the next chapter by identifying things that are meaningful to you.
Identify what you will need to be able to do this. There will be resources you will need to carry out your plan. They could be financial in nature, but they could also involve other people’s time, learning something different, etc.
Take an inventory and put a plan in place. If you have all the resources you need, then great, but likely you will find a shortfall somewhere. Identify how you are going to obtain the resources you need. For example, if you need to get $500,000 for your business in a sell, then put a plan in place to make your company worth $500,000.
Succession planning needs to start with helping people to see beyond what they are currently doing. If you want a Manager to be committed to identifying and building a successor, then help them to see what it would be like to be a Director. Help people to replace themselves by building a new future and you will find succession planning a whole lot easier.