By Sid Chadwick
“We can all see things we wish had been done differently”………………Queen Elizabeth II, at Dinner on Her 1st Visit to Ireland.
Owner neglect of a “Written Succession Plan” has existed so long across our great industry and associations, we seem to no longer see its consequences. (A smaller industry is NOT inevitable.)
How industry suppliers have tolerated such neglect and consequences – by our associations, I have no explanation.
There are at least two top-rated schools – turning out talented, motivated, highly skilled, uniquely trained graduates - some of whom are quietly wanting to become part of and acquire a company - now, through their sweat equity.
These upcoming graduates are available for Internships, and your critical review and selection – for a much longer, equity building relationship.
They can become part of your Succession Plan.
My Two Recommendations for Selecting Interns:
- U. of Houston. Contact Dr. Jerry J. Waite (C: 832-656-3089; [email protected]), for directions for Interviews, and Faculty recommendations for their Digital Media Program, College of Technology.
- Cal-Poly. Contact Colleen Larkin Twomey (W:678-469-9726; [email protected]) for directions for Interviews, and Faculty recommendations.
A Few Follow-Through Issues - That Tend To Be Neglected:
- After an impressive and successful Internship, get your agreement with your talented candidate – up front - in writing, with at least six-month subsequent Reviews. I’ve watched one too many senior, talented Managers “walk” – because after years of personal development and service, nothing was happening and nothing was in writing. (If you aren’t willing to put your mutual understandings in writing – up front, where is trust…?)
- When you visit with your banker, take your “Understudy” with you – every time. Dealing with your banker(s) is serious business, and your understudy needs time to “season-in” – and hear your perspectives. Nothing quite equals such wake-up reality checks.
- Insist that your Understudy become competent in Business Development – preferably - a respected leader. “Challenges” develop leadership. And tough economic times are inevitable. Only those organizations with seasoned Business Development leadership – can expect to survive tough times. (This is not an option.)
- Make arrangements for your Underperstudy to visit organizations and individuals - you respect and admire for their values and performance. A critical review with you, preferably in writing - of what he/she observed, learned, and questioned – after such visits, should be mandatory.
- Track and discuss – with accountability - what is improving, and not improving.
With our great industry’s conditions, our associations have not made “Succession Planning” their top priority. Why is that…?
After an owner reaches a certain senior age, without a firm succession plan, reinvestments tend to dry-up……Employees don’t miss the message.
The day your qualified Understudy comes on board, with grit and determination to be successful, you can’t hide the potential - and hoped-for impact.
Your company is potentially worth more – that day – to everyone. And everyone knows it.
“My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”…………Steve Jobs