I see and work with a number of CEO’s that are owner/founders of their organization. These days, they all seem to be talking about the same thing… Succession Planning.
Now, before you stop reading any further – thinking that this does not apply to you – think again.
There is a HUGE number of businesses all around the world that were started years ago by an owner that has now reached an age where they are thinking about retirement. There is also a HUGE amount of businesses out there where the workforce is reaching an age where retirement is going to happen… very soon.
The challenge for all business leaders is this: Who is going to take over?
In a family owned business, there may not be any successors ‘interested’ in taking over the company. This leaves the owner/founder in a desperate position to find a buyer that will give a fair market price and not prey on their vulnerability. Even if the owner/founder has a daughter or son that wishes to take over, they may not be ready. Or there hasn’t been a good transition or succession plan established to equip the successor to take over and keep the business viable, let alone grow it.
In a traditional widely held ownership business, there is also a brewing crisis with the approaching mass retirement of key team members. Through the economic challenges of the last thirty years, conventional business logic has been to cut cost, reduce training, vertically load key staff and not develop talent for the future. Well the future has arrived, and leaders are looking through a lens where talent is incredibly hard to find and when they are able to find the talent, the skills required are non-existent.
And, if you are thinking of disruptive or innovative strategies to mitigate the lack of skilled or competent talent like Artificial Intelligence or Automated workforce (Robots), that solution is still years away from being viable for most businesses.
Whatever the challenge, the best time to start planning for this ‘event’ was ten years ago. The second-best time is right now.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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