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To develop the organisation by developing team members

Organisation structures need to be designed to cater to current needs of tactical planning and future needs for implementing the organisations strategic plans. Succession planning is key for every organisation and every family business.

  • The organisation's leadership should have ready at all times a succession plan for each critical position in the team. Even then the best of plans can fail so we need to keep ready plan 'B' in the eventuality that the successor groomed is unable or unavailable to step up to the crease.

  • Succession plans will highlight strengths that need to be leveraged and deficiencies in individuals that need to be addressed. This will give illuminate training and development requirements.

  • Match the personality, attitudes, skills, knowledge and capabilities that the individual possesses or will acquire from training and development with those that the position or situation demands. Failure to do so will hurt both the people and the organisation.

  • Not every good and capable individual in the second in command position is automatically a good leader suited for the top position. Some people perform better as No. 2, or as they say 'the second fiddle'.

  • We may take the horse to the water. But even training, motivation and support may not always be enough to get the unwilling horse to drink the water.


People almost always seek the path of least effort. Bosses love to shoot from the hip. Failing to be be proactive, leaders and managers often react rather than respond. Often disastrously mistaking knee jerk reaction as dynamism rather than good leadership.

My life long experiences shows that managements and leaders are increasingly challenged because,

  • The volatility in the employees market where demand outstrips supply, employees do not expect to be with the same employer for very long. They jump jobs like riding on a merry-go-round . This happens mainly in organisations that provide little or no challenge, lack dignity for people, stress them unnecessarily and excessively, create immense de-motivating bureaucracies or simply do not pay enough for people to stay for the headache.

  • Organisations that cater to the soft side of their key employees expectations of dignity, challenging work, job enrichment, job satisfaction, opportunity to learn and develop have lower attrition rates and also more successful in implementing succession plans.

Note: This is the second of my two part article on 'destroying and preserving the career of your number two team member'.


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