Succession planning represents the capping off of your career and the culmination of years of effort. It will secure your prosperity and that of your family for generations to come. And underpin the longevity of your business, this in turn, will impact the future well-being of your employees and the community of suppliers and customers who have come to know and rely on your business.
For this reason, when you think about succession, a key consideration is the type of legacy you want to create.
In one of his works on leadership, John Maxwell describes legacy in a manner most appropriate in a succession context, ‘A legacy is created only when a person puts his organisation into the position to do great things without him’. Considering your legacy as being the continuity of your business to succeed to even greater heights is an excellent way to view succession.
Successful business leaders often believe their legacy is best preserved by ensuring that nothing changes – the ‘it worked for me and made the business a success so don’t you dare change a proven formula’ theory. However, in an ever changing marketplace you in fact want to create a business that is adaptable, changing and growing, a business that is always looking forward and, whilst honouring the past, is not railroaded by it.
To achieve this you need the following:
- A competent and experienced management team who do not rely on you;
- Systems and processes that support and underpin performance;
- A culture within the organisation that breeds innovation and commitment to the business
With these traits the business can successfully orienteer its way through a changing marketplace and remain relevant and successful. So as you begin to consider your step away from the business are you focusing on building management, developing processes and investing in a culture that will allow your business to flourish without you?
Bear in mind as well that by creating an organisation that will outlast you, you are also building the capital value of your business.