Finding good people is hard. In fact, we believe that a hiring decision is one of the most important and difficult decisions managers and owners must make. We also find that few small businesses have disciplined hiring processes to help them make better hiring decisions. This was particularly critical for a client with a well thought-out succession plan. Although the plan addressed estate, financial, tax, insurance, valuation and other issues, it did not address fundamental issues with the business. The succession plan did not deal with the existing “organizational gaps” and the gaps that would be created with the exit of the owners. The second issue the plan did not address was weakness in the current management team. First we took a look at the company’s current and future leadership and management requirements from an organizational perspective. Once the organizational gaps were identified, formal requirements were developed for the positions that would fill these gaps. The requirements were not only based on the skills and knowledge needed to fill the positions, but on the attitudes and habits of the people to fill them. We also used success modeling techniques to identify the types of habits and attitudes that worked well for some of the company’s top performers. Once the organizational gaps were identified, we turned our attention to making sure the company had the right people in the right places.
The company significantly “raised the bar” for its senior management and key operations people, which cascaded throughout the organization. Overall employee and company performance improved which significantly improved financial results which in turn supported and accelerated the owners succession and transition plans.