In my previous two posts, I’ve discussed a couple of situations in which significant changes occurred that necessitated updates be made in the succession planning arena. Fundamentally, succession planning is a strategic planning process. Just as in your annual forecasting for your business, you have to review your plan on a regular basis to determine where you are relative to where you want to be, and make adjustments as necessary.
As an example, many of our clients need to build up more liquidity apart from their operating businesses. It is a truism that you will find it hard to let go of your business if you are financially dependent upon it. So, in the planning process, we help our clients identify and define what personal financial security means to them; then help them develop a plan for achieving that security apart from the operating business over a period of time. If they say “I want $1 million in liquid resources” and they are currently at $200,000, we develop a plan to get them to their goal and then we hold them accountable to that plan.
What I have learned over the years is that with any type of strategic planning like this, the plan never, I repeat never, works out in a linear process. It’s a dynamic process with ebbs and flows. What I’ve also learned is that if you don’t follow this type of approach to planning and just hope it happens, the ebbs and flows will always, I repeat always, keep you from achieving your objectives. This is one of the reasons I love the way football games are structured with a half-time break. It gives the teams and coaches an opportunity to evaluate their game plan, what’s working, what’s not working, and sort out what needs to be done differently.
So, if you have put a plan in place but have not reviewed it in a while, do yourself and all who are depending on you a favor, and take a half-time break to evaluate your game plan: what you’re doing well, areas that need to improvement, and update your game plan.
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