Upon the shoulders of giants

The time comes in every organisation where the leader needs to step down and pass the reins to another. In Apple Inc. this event could not have had greater focus with the world’s business press headlining on the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO.

What the event has highlighted is the importance of a company to ensure its brand and reputation are not tied up with one individual but have anthropomorphic characteristics with the company appearing as a “living, breathing thing”. The jury may be out on Apple, with the sudden drop in share value followed by a bounce back recovery. Was the recovery as a result of confidence in Tim Cook, Jobs’ successor or was it as a result of share acquisition during the dip? What is noticeable is the increase in shareprice of Apple’s competitors. Is this the time for them to gain valuable ground?

At Metis we insist organisations look at the association between the personal brand of their key people and the company’s own brand, between the individual’s know-how and how this impacts on the company’s reputation. By identifying exactly where the balance exists and identifying what drives real competitive advantage, we can help the organisation plan for continuity during transition and develop knowledge transfer to support the succession of future leaders.

Are your key people single points of contact? Will your brand competitiveness be impacted if they move on? Have you sufficient know-how transfer policies in place to mitigate the risk? What actions have you taken to ensure successful succession? What will the market make of it and what might be the impact on customers or revenues? Interested to know.

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