Succession planning is essential to success

What do we mean by success?

In my mind, whether your law firm can survive the departure of the firm’s leader is a critical element of success. The “leader” may be the primary rainmaker, the managing partner or the sole practitioner who has built significant goodwill over his/her years of practice.

One study shows that “…only about one-half of public and private corporate boards have CEO-succession plans…” Even fewer law firms have succession plans.

Stephen Miles, managing partner of a leadership consulting practice, said “‘Succession planning is often done looking at the rear-view mirror … when it should be done looking out the front windshield.’” (WSJ, page B1, November 26, 2007)

When writing Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning for Law Firms, the executive directors in our group realized that our focus was on business continuity, not just recovery. And continuity requires succession planning … In one event, the succession will come naturally by aging; and in another event, the succession will come suddenly, without warning! Will you be prepared in either event to continue your law firm into the next generation of leadership?


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