Succession Planning. The final frontier… to boldly go where damn few have gone before, no matter how frequently they talk about it.
A recent article in the Houston Business Journal references a survey about succession plans at mid-cap and large companies. Well over 50% do not have enough successors identified to weather one or more key departures, and only 37% claim to even have sufficient future management available (never mind ready)within the organization.
Are you kidding me?? It is the height of irresponsibility to suggest that senior leadership is focused on the future — on longer term, strategic ideals — when it cannot weather a small storm caused by the departure of just one or two key leaders.
So, a colleague of mine was preparing for a 2-day strategy session…
Never mind that I really dislike these two/three-day “events” disguised as strategic thinking and envisioning.
This colleague, like many consultants, was gearing up for the contest that was to come… the inevitable clash between monumental egos and the logic and foresight necessary to grow a business. My advice to her lament? I said:
“May the force be with you. My experience tells me that if we can connect logic & smarts with their executive-level egos, then success is nigh…“
I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, and now it’s confirmed — many employees aren’t too keen on their managers.
Some results from a recent survey conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity; they surveyed 675 workers from all but executive levels, and discovered:
- 60% said managers have a tough but fulfilling job. We’ll keep it “our secret” that it’s really a cakewalk, and we’re only in it for the dough.
- Less than 50% of managers surveyed believe that their organization’s management is “above average. This one hurts. Looking around the room at your peers right now, as many as half believe you’re “not all that.” (more…)
Years ago, I worked for a USAF Colonel named Scott Atkins. He would tell me frequently that, “If 25% of your decisions aren’t wrong, you simply aren’t making enough decisions.”
Action — well thought, purposeful action — must always be rewarded over inaction.
Regarding action and failure, I always remember a couple of things:
Bail out the auto industry, you say??
$25B sounds like a lot of cash to normal people, but it’s barely a band-aid for the automakers’ troubles. If we do this, they’ll soon be back at the trough for more.
The problems with U.S. automakers are cost of labor, stupid supplier agreements, and way, way too many dealerships.
I say allow them to go into bankruptcy, use that as impetus for renegotiating labor agreements, changing inflated supplier contracts, and allowing many borderline, cash-driven dealerships to go away. If the government simply MUST provide bail-out cash, do so as a guarantee to whomever comes forward with post-bankruptcy DIP financing.
Strategic Planning is dead. Long live strategic planning…
An interesting conundrum; we know that strategic planning is valuable. Intuitively. Yet, we seldom march lockstep behind that big blue binder when it’s complete.
Why is that??
I have an opinion (surprise!). During a recent strategy session, the client’s chief executive stated that he doesn’t even consider it strategic planning at all. He doesn’t even like the term.
He uses Strategic Discernment.
I hate doing this, but I visited dictionary.com for the definitive definition of discern/discernment…