Hints & Tips Blog

Do you have a plan for future leadership?

Managing change in business is a challenge at any time. Over the last year or so, we have all had to adapt and become far more flexible as individuals and agile as businesses.

This is also the case for business leadership. It has prompted some to review their priorities, others have realised that the pace of change is so fast, that they need more executive resources to implement their plans.

In many instances, this has highlighted the importance of management succession planning and effective implementation. Over the last few months, it has been an area in which I have increasingly been asked about and one in which we which supported a number of clients.

As a business owner/leader you have probably successfully grown your business operating in a certain way with a stable team around you, with responsibilities clearly allocated and relying on this team to make it happen.

It is quite possible that succession has always been on your mind knowing that at some point, either you or a senior team will want to retire or spend more time away from the business.

So how can you successfully navigate through the complicated issues of succession?
There is no right or wrong way to tackle succession, it is very much the case that each circumstance is slightly different. However, based on previous experiences, we have created some tips to get you started along the journey.

    1. Be clear about what you want to achieve:
      Identifying clearly where you want to get to be is a critical first step. What do you want the future of the leadership of the business to look like?The answer may seem obvious; in a family business it is usually the next generation; in other businesses, it is often someone who has worked in the business for a long time.But in both cases, it is important to consider what the future shape of the senior team in the business should look like as this may need to evolve too.

      This takes time and it is important that you take on board the views of the people involved, as they are ultimately the ones who will make it work. It may be that the structure of the senior team will need to change, and responsibilities shared, particularly at a time when business’s need to be very agile in responding to the rapid changes in expectations and behaviours of customers

    2. Develop a plan to help you achieve your overall objective:
      Once you feel you have a clear picture of what you want the future to look like, create a step plan which takes you from the situation today to where you want to be tomorrow.Taking the time to develop this plan is a critical step in ensuring a successful implementation and ultimate outcome.In simple terms your pan needs to cover:
      – What is happening now (today’s situation)?
      – Where would we like to get to (structure/responsibilities/timings)?
      – How are we going to achieve this (implementation)?
    3. Implement your plan:
      With the plan developed and agreed, you move onto the implementation phase. This is the most difficult and time-consuming element.You need to make sure you create the time to carry this out effectively. This stage may involve recruiting new people, it will probably include mentoring existing members of the team and is likely to need your input in re-shaping management meetings and possibly responsibilities as well.t is also important that once you have started the process, you keep track of the planned activities, assessing what is working and what is not. Doing this will give you the opportunity to reflect and adapt your plan to make sure it will still enable you to achieve your ultimate objectives.

      Succession planning can be time-consuming, challenging, and complicated. Having someone to help you develop the plan, providing objective input and support on this journey can also be hugely beneficial. It also enables you to draw on their experiences and benefit from their input too.

If you would like someone to discuss your succession plans with, please do get in touch at mark.roberts@bhp.co.uk.

Our team at BHP Consulting have all successfully run businesses, and we understand that every business is unique. Our practical approach to supporting our clients enables us to share our real-world experience to positively impact on the performance of your business. To arrange a call or an exploratory face-to-face meeting, please click here