When I say plan for transition, I mean from one administration to another and one employee to another.
There are so many times that information falls through the cracks and is forever lost because there was no transition plan. No one expected Ms. Lee was going to retire suddenly or that Jack would go on medical leave never to return or the previous Mayor's appointee would not be carried over to the next administration, etc.
We just assume everything is going to keep ticking along just fine, and then BOOM. Something unexpected happens and people try to quickly pick up the pieces and make excuses about operating with fewer staff and blah blah blah.
I get it. These things happen and once they're done, they're done. However, I have less sympathy for organizations as long standing as the government. Local governments have been around for hundreds of years and they have experienced at least thousands of transitions yet few take the time to create transition plans.
Transition plan: A formal business transition plan puts the goals, priorities and strategies in place for a successful transition. Without a clearly defined plan, business owners are leaving their personal and financial future to chance. (source: entrepreneur.com)
Crafting a transition plan takes work and vision. You need to take the time to sit down with your team and figure out the short and long-term priorities, what is needed to execute them and how could things be completed without you. Of course the new person or administration may change the priorities but there should be at least some continuity to avoid projects completely stalling and constituents left wondering what is going on, which can grow into distrust and disdain.
Transition plans also signal to your internal and external stakeholders that you are forward thinking and prepared for the future- two attributes we need more of these days.
Does your organization have a transition plan?