Blog Pick of the Week: Tootsie Rolls and You
Where is the candy dish in your office or are YOU the keeper of the candy dish? Last week I was very tired in mid-afternoon and went seeking something sweet to give me that boost. I ended up selecting a moist, chewy and sweet chocolate tootsie roll. It really hit the spot and brought a smile to my face. How could it do anything but??
This article in the Wall Street Journal about the Tootsie Roll company and their apparent lack of succession planning caught my attention this week. I had just enjoyed that tasty treat last week. Would there be a time that they would not be available and is the company in trouble?
The company has been in business since 1896. That is an impressive journey for sure. They now are the proud owners of Charleston Chews, Blow Pops, Junior Mints and Double Bubble and Dots Gum Drops. Sales last year are reported as $528M. Obviously they have a successful track record.
So what is the problem? Perhaps nothing but their CEO, Melvin Gordon, who is 92 - the oldest CEO in the country. He runs the company with his wife Ellen who is 80. They may have a succession plan but they are keeping it very confidential which does not build confidence with investors and shareholders.
How do organizations manage to create and maintain a succession plan? This article from FreeManagement.org reviews some how to steps and also answers why it is important. It is not just about the C level execs and is important at all levels, including those in procurement and sourcing!
There are many resources to help you along. The key is that succession planning should be planful and not about crisis management. It should be tackled now while all is working and calm. Not after some associates have departed or an unexpected event occurs.
What has your team, department or organization done to ensure succession of your associates? Will those associates that remain be able to continue producing that product or service at the quality level your customers expect? Will several generations from now be able to retrieve a sweet "tootsie roll" afternoon snack to get through THEIR day?