In the Event of an Emergency

Lately I have been doing succession planning with most organisations I work with. This month alone, I am working with 3 companies doing various succession plans 1) with a leader to support with the departing of a staff member and the work they are leaving behind, 2) succession planning with staff, ED, and Board and 3) group leadership development with a tech company leadership team.

Succession planning doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does help to get a consultant into your workplace to support you. One of the things you can begin immediately is to future-proof your workplace by being in a continuous mode of knowledge transfer. In other words, don’t wait for the day when one of your team members calls in rich and quits or moves to Australia to become an ultra-minimalist – start knowledge transfer processes and succession planning now.

Having good documentation in place and building a culture of knowledge transfer supports with retaining information inside your organisation. It ensures in the event of a staffing emergency you can continue your day to day operations smoothly.

This can be is done through:

After Action Reviews: These debriefings are a way to capture experiences, what worked well, what needs improvement, and what can be done differently next time so others can learn from those experiences. It allows a leadership team to share learnings with other program leaders and departments.

Creation of Job Aids: These are tools that help people perform tasks accurately and could be built off best practises. They include things such as checklists or decision tree diagrams that provide specific concrete information and serve as a quick reference guide. Job Aids help with knowledge transfer and also improve on-boarding. Job aids  ensure key processes and functions do not just live inside people’s heads.

Mentoring (formal & informal): In mentoring, an experienced skilled person (mentor) is paired with a lesser skilled or experienced person (mentee), with the goal of developing or strengthening the competencies of the mentee. Mentorship programs support with leadership development, succession planning and on the job training (win-win-win!)

Why succession plan? Replacement hiring is a reactive process to a staffing emergency to fill an immediate need, whereas succession planning is proactive and works to address the need before it exists. By having a succession plan in place, companies save time (and dollars) through building internal capacity and knowledge. No emergencies here.

Taming Our Limiting Beliefs

I work with an executive who is making six figures and supporting her family as a single mother, and has a value around stability, but she hates her job but really believes that she can’t leave it because of her family. Her perception is that she cannot make a VP salary at any other company. This is what she says stands in in her way of moving into fulfilling work.

You Don’t Have to Swing at Every Pitch

My dad took me to lots of Blue Jay baseball games when I was growing up. I am not a baseball expert, but I do understand an important element of the game: deciding if/when to swing. The pitcher throws and the batter has to decide whether it is a good pitch. It’s coming across the plate and if it’s in the sweet spot and the batter knows he/she can hit it: swing! If it isn’t right or the pitch is poor the batter won’t chance it.

Stop Spinning Your Career Search Wheels – Informational Interviews Part One

Let’s face it deciding what to do next with your career or pounding the pavement with your resume isn’t fun. As a career coach I often speak with people spinning their wheels with either the career or job search process.

With more than 600 plus jobs out there how can it not be difficult to decide what to do next?

Boosting Your Current Resume

I recently critiqued 30 college students’ resumes and on average the majority of them had the same common mistakes (aside from being done at three in the morning after the essay for English Lit and before the 4th Red Bull). They were dull, lacked action words and selling points. All the key points bled into one another and the effect was that of one long block of text that no eye wants to tackle despite however promising the content.

Riding in an Elevator with Your Future CEO

Just suppose sometime in the near future you are riding and in strides (because, if you’ve never met one, that’s exactly what they do: stride) the CEO of a company you really wanted to work for. You have the next few floors to tell him or her who you are and what you want to do. What would you say?

Thinking about your “elevator pitch” will help you in many different career arenas including networking and will also support you in answering the interview question, “Tell me about yourself.”