Leadership Transition happens whether it is initiated by the company or the person departing. After a leader departs, you can be in crisis-mode or use it as an opportunity, but only if you are ready for it and know how to respond as an organization.
- Have a plan.
Leadership transition is a necessary part of any company or work group. Often, companies don’t plan for a transition and pretend it doesn’t exist or think they don’t have time to deal with formulating a plan. Its important to have a contingency plan and know how and when to implement it.
- Define temporary leadership roles.
Unplanned transitions can leave remaining employees in a state of shock and emotional turmoil. Assigning a temporary leader/point person for the department or work group will alleviate some of the stress of not knowing who is in charge or where to turn for leadership and direction during the transition.
The change may be exciting because you have a clear picture with all the details involved, but organizational change will often bring anxiety among your team. Be sure to over-communicate and make sure your team is aware of the changes that will affect them. Offering your staff a timeline for leadership replacement gives them a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Share the load.
Employees are working in crisis-mode ensuring that the workload of the departed leader is not entirely left untended to. Know your strength areas and the strength areas of the rest of the team. Thoughtfully divide the workload so that it is in manageable pieces suited to the strengths of each team member to make sure deadlines or projects don’t fall through the cracks.
This cross-roads situation is a time for opportunity and growth. Having a transition plan will offer structure and comfort. Strategy Source offers Fractional and Interim Consultants to help in times of leadership transition. We can help your organization when you face intentional or unintentional leadership transitions.