In sports, the team with the strongest bench often wins.  It’s no different in business. It’s inevitable that you’ll lose key players – temporarily (e.g., illness or vacations,) or permanently.  If you don’t have the bench strength to replace them, you’ll have a productivity problem.  A sudden loss can create a crisis.

To read the rest of this article from the Washington Business Journal, see: Best chance for success rests on a deep bench

Remember the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.  Have bench players cross-trained for the short-term and groomed as the next generation of leaders.

I’ve heard many reasons why companies don’t prepare: See original article for details.

Here are some tips for getting started.  See original article for details.

  • Decide that developing bench strength is critical.
  • Make a simple plan to get started and let everyone know that it will be evolving.
  • Initiate training in leadership development and your company’s culture, separate from courses, certifications and degrees.
  • Start where you are.  Start with goals and then develop a process.  An appropriate process is necessary but the success of the program depends on the people involved.
  • Teach by examining case studies, extracting strategies and processes from the latest leadership fads, and internalizing the qualities and perspectives of great leaders whose works have stood the test of time.
  • But what if someone thinks that it’s brain washing?
  • What if the people selected become arrogant or leaders start paying attention only to the rising stars?

The downtime during a long hiring and ramping up process is huge.  No matter how well you do the process, it’s a crap shoot hiring someone off the street.

Strengthen your bench or prepare to lose.

Often, individuals need coaching and organizations need consulting to help them design and implement a plan that fits the situation.  To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.