Succession planning is the process of determining the right direction for an organization to take to ensure its continuance and sustainability. For the owner or senior manager who is considering retirement, this process addresses questions such as, “Shall we sell, merge, promote from within or hire from outside to guide the organization?” There are two critical parts to the equation. There are four steps in the process: reflection, evaluation, planning, and action.
The first part is to identify what the owner/founder plans to do, how long she/he plans to continue, how will she/he be compensated for passing the organization to the future owners. We sometimes find that these issues have not been clarified because the owner/founder has not created a plan for life after this career. We can coach the individual to plan for a new life and to realize what she/he wants their legacy to be.
The second part is to determine the future of the organization and who will successfully lead it. If the organization is to continue as is, we use an in-depth assessment process to identify internal or external candidates who possess the desire and ability to take the helm. We often find that internal employees have development needs and we can coach the individuals or guide the owner in the process.
If the organization is going to merge, management due diligence is often the most overlooked aspect of the mergers and acquisitions process. It is at least as vital and necessary as traditional legal and financial due diligence in providing an informed basis for the decision to go forward with a merger. Most mergers fail or fall well below expectations because the new environment is not what was expected by one party or the other. Clashes can run high as everyone tries to adjust to the new environment. We will assess both principals and senior managers and facilitate critical conversations around vision, mission and management style (culture).