Posted: August 18th, 2016Author: All4 Staff
The years really do fly by. Most of the folks I started my career with back in the early ‘70s have already retired and the remaining die-hards are certainly counting the days. Here at ALL4 we’ve been expending serious energy over the last few years with succession planning. Thanks to my partners, as we’ve grown this company we’ve worked hard to develop leadership skills in the highly talented staff we’ve been able to amass. Not everyone is quite so lucky and it puts me in mind of some counterparts who, like me, left various other callings to pursue careers as air quality consultants.
Why do I bring this up? There’s a reasonable chance that some highly regulated facilities may be facing a future where their entrenched air quality consultant might be considering life after consulting. If the incumbent has been handling much of the air quality consulting load and with limited backup, there may be a transition period with some potentially dangerous pitfalls.
Succession planning is just as important if you rely on outside help as it is in taking care of your own company planning. Documentation should exist that captures all of the important compliance needs and deadlines. The last thing anyone wants to hear is that we missed a reporting deadline because Jake retired and no one else knew about it. People planning is a critical aspect of succession planning. Who is going to be our “go-to person” when Jake retires? Think about that now, not when it’s too late and Jake’s spending time with his grandkids.
There are other aspects to succession planning aside from individual brain power. In this day and age, automated management systems should be in place to help with compliance related activities. Such systems should be designed with consideration for the folks charged with using them and with the expectation that the folks using them will also change over time. If you’re faced with a situation where your go-to person might be gone and you don’t have solid management systems in place, consider using the transition as an opportunity to develop such systems and as an opportunity to try out a new go-to consultant.
It’s not easy losing your go-to person. Odds are that over time there’s more than the work that bonds you together. If you need to think about replacing your incumbent consultant, look for someone that will take the same, or an even greater level of ownership of your air quality issues and needs. At ALL4 we instill the concept of “being your client” from the day we begin the on-boarding process with our new hires. We’d love the opportunity to be your go-to person and help you establish management systems so the next time the question arises regarding “who’s next”, you’ve already got the succession planning nailed.