The Empty Bench

I've just finished a round of mid-year meeting with clients - progress vs. plans, updates to goals, etc. 

All useful.

But time and time again, as I looked around the room, I saw single points of failure in the organizations. An empty bench for backup.

In growing organizations, you obviously won't have fully functional backups and in most cases, the next level talent is already in a stretch assignment. 

So how can you mitigate the risk?

  • Major projects are co-lead - or have a leader and a backup
  • Functional areas have clear objectives and frequent, regular, formal check-ins about status, progress, concerns
  • A team that cares and is interested about what is happening in other functional areas 
  • A good handle on the potential and development needs of your employees, particularly 2 levels deep

What else has worked for you?