Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I recently read an interesting article in the Globe & Mail, that got me thinking about succession planning, and more specifically, how few companies really have a clear succession plan in place. Do you?
It is surprising to me, after all these years, to still run into people in our industry who tell horror stories of how challenged they are by a recent departure at the Executive or Department Head level.
The crux of the story is usually centred around the fact that some man or woman has given their notice, or perhaps been terminated, and as a result, people have suddenly realized that not only do they not have a successor in mind to quickly fill the void, they don’t know half of what this person was actually doing on a day-to-day basis.
Then, in a state of panic, with a dash of denial tossed in, they ask the departing Manager to show some underling about his or her job before they leave, in the hope that if this person shows someone else what he or she does on a day-to-day basis, it may not be necessary for the Division Head to have to roll up his or her sleeves and pick up the slack.
This process never ends well, as ultimately, the assigned underling ends up covering the departing Manager’s job for anywhere from days to months, during which time the job is posted within the company, and for some inexplicable reason, HR and/or the GM are surprised when the underling applies to permanently fill the vacancy.
What did you expect? He/she has been doing the job, or so they think, for the last several months, and usually not having heard anything to the contrary, they believe they are doing an excellent job. They don’t know if there are other duties that would normally be covered by the Manager, that they may not be doing, or, any other particulars about the job, specifically.
Why? Because no one has told them. They were just happy that the main job duties were being covered, and no one else more senior had to pick up the slack.
What can you do to avoid this problem?
Ensure that you have a detailed succession plan in place, that covers all of your Managers and Executive level positions, and then, don’t write it and put it on a shelf never to be looked at again, until that fateful day.
Review it, as a Leadership Team, not less than quarterly, and, make it a priority with all of the Managers, tied to their annual performance review, which is presumably tied to their annual goals.
Have one specific goal that requires EVERY Manager to be actively identifying and then training their successor.
This will ensure that it is a priority.
I would also suggest that there is value in identifying core training that you want ALL of these potential successors to receive PRIOR to any advancement. I have seen far too many Managers either over-promoted, or, put into positions without the proper foundation to ensure their success.
This is your business, don’t you want to know that it is always being managed in a consistent manner to ensure that you do not suffer the consequences of an unexpected departure. Be prepared.
Remember, people don't plan to fail, but they do fail to plan.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
As companies compete more and more for the ever-elusive consumer, many companies have chosen to form brand partnerships in the hope of differentiating themselves from their competitors, and, appearing to provide additional benefits, or added value, to the consumer.
This arrangement can be very successful, IF you find the right partner who can provide as much benefit to you, as they believe you can to them.
There are some great examples out there of partnerships that work, and I have to assume that they passed the partnership brand test, which is comprised of 4 key attributes:
1) A Complimentary Partner – Consumer must be able to see how this partnership makes sense, they need to see the connection and view it to some degree as obvious. If you need to explain it, you’ve already lost them.
2) A Shared Goal – Consumers want to understand the full value being created by your brand partnership. They want to know that your organization believes in what it’s supporting, and who you are aligning yourself with.
3) A Solid DNA Match – Your partner must share similar core values and see the world as you do, and be committed to the same causes as you do. Consumers will test the match in their own way, and it will be obvious, and potentially catastrophic, if it is determined that the partners are not working effectively as one unit to deliver the partnership brand promise.
4) It Has to Work Both Ways – It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating nonetheless that any partnership must have a win/win perspective, from the beginning and continuing throughout. If one partner is not as committed as the other, the relationship is doomed to fail.
Remember, at the end of the day, you are your brand, and your brand is a mirror reflection of you and your business.
This is your reputation that you are messing with, and you have probably worked hard to create a reputation for your business that you can be proud of, and, that has brought you success.
In short – this is like a marriage, so be careful and be thorough before you walk down the aisle.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Regardless, she had spent her life savings over the years to stay with us, and that has to be worth something.