Are you an owner stepping down from management and handing your company over to someone else? Have you been grooming a new team to lead your company, yet wish you were able to ‘see’ how your world will look and know what role you will be playing going forward?

To make this mental picture work, picture a bus. 
  • You own the bus.
  • Your company employs everyone on the bus.
  • You have asked a CEO to take the wheel and drive that bus.
  • Working with the Senior Management Team (“SMT”), you determined a vision and approved a strategic plan that specifies the end destination of this bus.
To find out where this leaves you as the owner, ask yourself:
  • Do you have permission to tag along on the bus?
  • Can you ask the driver questions about where the bus is going and what progress it is making?
  • What can you do when it looks like the bus is heading the wrong way?
  • What should you do when you feel your company bus is not making sufficient progress?
  • Do you have permission to know what the people on the bus are doing? What their priorities and victories and struggles are?
  • Can you ask for information from the CEO driver of the bus? If so, how often and in which format?
Do you have the right to ask any or all of these questions?
  • If no, does that sit right with you? Did you and the SMT agree to that before the journey started?
  • If yes, how can you make sure your behaviour doesn’t come across as that of someone attempting to take over the driver’s role?

The solution to clarifying your role after stepping down from management lies in being intentional about asking the above questions early. This is the key to determining a preferred future that works for everyone. Ask these questions beforehand and go imagine yourself in that future world (on the bus), whether at the 1, 2, 5 or 10-year level. This is how I approach strategy and foresight, and it works. It avoids future conflict and allows everyone involved to make decisions while anxiety levels are low and people can still consider all options for the future.

Are you ready to build a future-ready company?

Discover what strategic innovation means for your business by downloading my FREE Strategic Innovation Guide