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Double Iron Consulting: The Power of Succession Planning

Succession planning is an essential part of outlining the future for businesses. It involves a closer look at the company’s goals, critical roles for obtaining those goals, and employees’ potential to fit those roles.

This is not a simple task, and firms like Double Iron Consulting can provide invaluable assistance in constructing these plans. Keep reading to learn what is involved in succession planning, how consulting companies help, and how change can benefit a company.

The Phases of Succession Planning

Succession plans can be enacted over the long term or in an emergency. Still, the planning process always includes the assessment of the situation, the evaluation of potential successors, and developing a plan to facilitate the transfer.

It is recommended that this plan is developed before any issues arise. Still, firms like Double Iron Consulting are experts in creating effective plans that cover each of these phases.

Assessment

During the assessment phase, a company needs to identify any challenges they expect to address over a certain period (usually within the range of 1 to 5 years). If this is not an emergency plan, the company should also identify any critical positions to create successions for. In an emergency, they are looking to fill the affected role immediately.

This stage is also helpful to identify the competencies needed to fill these positions and any skills or knowledge needed for these roles. This sets a foundation for future steps.

Evaluation

During the evaluation phase, a company looks at employees who are already an excellent match for these positions. This might be a family member, like Bill Smith’s role in Royal Cup Coffee, or another employee that shows promise.

This is a great time to evaluate potential candidates’ current competencies and where those skills need to be to transition smoothly. These competencies need to be on par with overcoming any challenges identified in the first phase.

Development

During the development phase, a company should transfer any knowledge of the current position holder to their potential successor. It is essential to do this before the current employee or CEO leaves the organization to have a dense pool of information.

Anyone lined up for succession should get the training necessary to take over that role quickly and efficiently. This may look like attending workshops or obtaining new certifications, but consistent and relevant growth is critical.

How Consulting Companies Assist with Succession Planning

A company can attempt succession planning on its own and be successful, but this is not an optimal use of time and resources. With the aid of a company such as Double Iron Consulting, a company can create a plan:

  • Faster
  • Using proven processes
  • With little to no bias

Consulting companies are trained to address these issues specifically, leaving them to oversee their day-to-day business with little interruption.

Developing a Plan Quickly

Whether this is an emergency succession or planning ahead, a consulting company will make good use of time when constructing a plan.

Succession planning is not always at the top of the list for a business to address, especially when it has standard procedures to handle. Employing the help of a consulting firm keeps the completion of the plan a priority without disrupting everyday tasks.

Time is even more valuable when dealing with an emergency succession, and consulting firms like Double Iron Consulting have the knowledge to work well with deadlines.

Utilizing Proven Processes

While a business might find a one size fits all succession plan on the internet. Consulting firms like Double Iron Consulting can create a detailed and personalized plan that takes the intricacies of a company into account.

There are many types of succession plans, including family owned businesses, those that bring individuals in from outside the company, and those that create ladders for employee growth. The variables are never the same in two situations, and it can be challenging to fit the pieces together without the correct processes.

Objectivity

Even in family owned operations, objectivity is the key to succession. Businesses should be fair while still choosing individuals who will take the company in the direction it needs to go.

Firms like Double Iron Consulting look at the business, goals, and potential successors with a clear lens. The popularity of potential successors tends to sway a business, but consulting companies are untethered and can more easily assess the skills of individuals.

This is at no fault of a business, but employing a consulting firm removes the risk of succession planning becoming a popularity contest.

The Importance of Change

Succession planning is not always determining who will take over a company upon the death of their predecessor. Succession plans are usually enacted in specific timelines to help a company move forward.

Leadership changes might be scary, but they should be embraced. Succession keeps a company fresh and relevant, allowing space for new ideas to prosper.

When successors are carefully lined up and molded to fit in the role, they can preserve the company’s integrity while preventing it from stagnancy.

Looking at carefully orchestrated succession plans like Bill Smith’s is best to visualize this benefit.

Bill Smith’s Success Story

Royal Cup Coffee had been in Bill Smith’s family since 1950. So it was no surprise that he entered the workforce there. He spent his time interning while completing high school and college before moving onto the frontlines in 1990.

Bill Smith spent the next two decades honing skills and developing management experience. In 2014 he became the president and CEO, following his family’s line of succession.

Because of the expertise that went into his development, Royal Cup Coffee was able to complete a large-scale infrastructure project and launch a major rebranding initiative in the latter part of the decade.

This was followed by a 2020 decision to hand the company over to an executive team that could continue the growth of Royal Cup Coffee. Bill Smith took the skills he learned from a lifetime of cultivation in Royal Cup Coffee to create Double Iron Consulting. He now shares those same skills with businesses looking to reach their goals.

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