Congratulations to Mick Jagger, who is going to be a Father again at the ripe age of 72. It’s wonderful news for him and his girlfriend, and adds to the large family Mick already has.
People being people of course are very cynical and may first think about the age difference. She’s 29 before you ask. Secondly, they may think that the baby won’t see much of its father, although with increased life expectancy, we could well be rocking out to live tours of the Rolling Stones for another 30 years!
Age and life expectancy are superficial in this context; if they’re happy, then good for them. Certainly the baby won’t go without through its life so we don’t need to worry there.
What I do worry about though for some people, and the organisations of which they are a part is succession planning. A straw poll amongst our clients shows this as one of the key risks that organisations face. Skilled and knowledgeable staff are getting older, and the closer they get to retirement, the less time they have to pass on these assets to a younger generation.
In the case of a business owner, the problem is even more acute. When the Owner decides they’ve had enough, what happens? Shut the doors? Sell out? Hand it over? These are big decisions.
Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing potential future leaders or senior managers, as well as individuals to fill other business-critical positions, either in the short- or the long-term. In addition to training and development activities, succession planning programmes typically include the provision of practical, tailored work experience relevant for future senior or key roles
ISO 9001 covers this issue in a number of topics; Organisational Knowledge, Competencies, and Roles/Responsibilities. How you deal with the issue will be particular to your organisation of course, but the important thing is not to delay.
In the past ten years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with hundreds of organisations. Some real stand out moments for me have been talking about Succession Planning. None more so than a Company Director, still active (believe me – really active) in his 90’s. He had outlived his own family, so had decided that the best thing he could do was turn the company into a co-operative with the workforce all taking a share. If it works, it will be a great legacy for him and ensure the continued success of his life’s work.