Small Business: Ideas Shop - succession strategy

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Succession planning can be a tough problem for small business. Photo / Thinkstock
Succession planning can be a tough problem for small business. Photo / Thinkstock

Ideas Shop, PR consultancy, New Zealand's first carboNZero public relations firm and winners of the 2009 Sustainable Business Network awards (Wellington and Southern region winners, and national finalists).

Ideas Shop co-founder Dan Ormond and partner Anna Kominik talk to GIll South about succession strategy:

Dan Ormond:

Sustainability is the driving force of Ideas Shop's succession strategy, aligning with this award-winning company's speciality in sustainability communications.

Social, environmental and business sustainability are indelibly linked. As specialists in providing businesses with communications that promote their success and longevity, we have to walk the talk. We see it as our corporate and social responsibility to build a strong and enduring business to which succession is key.

Anna Kominik: Ideas Shop has a clear career path for staff that sets out the capabilities and skills required to progress within the organisation from junior consultant through to partner.

Our policy is to actively encourage all staff to understand and engage in every aspect of the business. We foster individual creativity and talent and provide training and professional development where people show interest.

For all staff there is an active mentoring programme but for those seeking greater responsibility and management roles we have a very robust programme ensuring they understand the realities of running a business at every level from HR, finances and management through to nurturing their own personal growth.

Flexibility to staff

Providing pathways for women is also central to the succession strategy, with extremely flexible processes in place to support female staff around child-bearing and family commitments.

We recognise that female staff may need to take more time out of the workforce and we're committed to ensuring that does not impact either their family needs or their progression in the firm.

For example, a female associate partner recently had her first child and after eight months pregnancy leave has returned to work part-time, on a flexible hours and location basis.

Enduring beyond the founders

As a professional services firm, people are at the core of our business. For it to continue to grow and to achieve our goals, our succession programme must give staff the opportunity to grow while ensuring the business will endure beyond its founders.

The business is now in a position that if any key staff member left there is sufficient depth within the organisation.

- NZ Herald

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