Two months ago, Richard Edelman asked us to look at succession planning within the firm. If any senior manager was to “go under a bus” who would replace them or what was the process for finding a replacement? Good question. Fair enough, if a little disconcerting to be thinking about the business equivalent of your own funeral. I couldn’t help compare this approach to Liverpool FC where that historic clubs’ owners yesterday revealed that they too were succession planning. Here’s their approach according to an article on www.thisisanfield.com.
“In November, when it appeared we were in danger of not advancing in the Champions League, and were not playing well in our Premier League matches, and Rafa and we [Hicks and Gillett – the owners] were having communication issues over the January transfer window, George and I met with Jürgen Klinsmann.
“We wanted to learn as much as we could about English and European football. We attempted to negotiate an option, as an insurance policy, to have him become manager if Rafa left for Real Madrid or other clubs that were rumoured in the UK press, or in case our communication spiralled out of control for some reason”.
Behind the back of Rafa Benitiz, the incumbent manager, they negotiate an “insurance policy” with a replacement. Not with him. In secret and motivated by some bad results and “communication issues”. I have often seen similarities between professional sport organisations and PR firms as both rely so heavily on the management of talent to get great performance. Succession planning can and should be a valuable and motivating management tool as part of that process. But not this way, so I have to assume that these experienced business owners know exactly what they were doing and that Rafa’s exit has already been decided upon.
[tags] Liverpool FC, Sucession planning [/tags]