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Why Succession Planning is Vital for Every Fishing Club

Why Succession Planning is Vital for Your Fishing Club

What will your fishing club look like in two, five or maybe ten years’ time? Who will be running things?

When your club is run by volunteers, you might not give a lot of thought to who will be willing to pitch in and help in the future. But as most members have little understanding as to the volume of work involved in keeping the club alive – how do you make sure the club keeps on running smoothly when the current group of volunteers no longer want or are able to help out?

Most fishing club committees are formed of senior members who have more time on their hands than some of the other members. But as these people can perhaps no longer fulfil their duties, who will be taking over? 

It’s a sensitive topic but the committee exists to serve the club and its members, so to help ensure longevity, it’s vitally important that the clubs best interests are always put first. 

To help make sure your beloved club out survives your serving committee, Succession Planning is key.

What Is Succession Planning?

Simply put, succession planning is creating a plan so that you know who will be taking over certain positions in your club in the future. It’s something that many businesses do, and particularly family businesses. By deciding who is going to take over certain duties, you can prepare for when the day comes that the people currently in those positions are no longer holding them.

Succession planning isn’t just about choosing successors to your current committee members and volunteers. It’s about thinking about your objectives for the future, and where you want your fishing club to go.

Think about some of the vital people in your fishing club, whether it’s the chairman, the treasurer or the secretary. If you were to suddenly be without them, would there be someone to take over? And would they know how to take over the role at such short notice?

Succession planning ensures that you have a system in place to make sure your club is not left without key people to help run it. To do this, you need to know which skills, knowledge and tools will be needed for these roles.

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Why Is Succession Planning Important?

Succession planning might at first not seem like something that your fishing club needs to do. Perhaps you think that you have plenty of volunteers, and lots of people who want to step up and take on some more important duties. However, if you no longer had an important member of your club, would you really be able to replace them right away with someone who is able to step into the role?

And what if someone was overburdened with work right now and decides to step down – do you really think you’d have a queue of volunteers waiting to take on an unfair workload? 

Succession planning is important because it helps to protect both your club and your volunteers. It’s not just about people but also adopting efficient systems and processes. It’s about making it easier for everyone at the club to work together and ensure the clubs long term survival. 

When you run any kind of organisation, it’s always important to think about the future. You can’t just take things as they come if you want things to run successfully, especially if you have goals that you want to fulfil. Succession planning helps your club not just in the future but also now, giving your volunteers reassurance and protecting them from burnout. If you want your fishing club to be better and do more, you need a succession plan.

What Are the Benefits of Succession Planning?

Succession planning offers a range of benefits that will help your fishing club to have a brighter future.

A succession plan gives you the chance to spread out the workload of running your club among your volunteers. This helps to prevent burnout through volunteers taking on too much. You want your volunteers to be happy and to want to stick around to help you run the club. Succession planning also means that when your volunteers are ready to leave, the handover to their replacements is smoother. Overall, you create a better environment and culture for your volunteers.

Your volunteers should be happier, and this can encourage them to stay with you longer. If they do decide to leave or can no longer volunteer, you will know that they’re not leaving because they felt they could no longer deal with an unfair workload. Many clubs can suffer from an ageing committee, but a better volunteer culture can help to encourage new volunteers.

What Happens If You Don’t Implement a Plan?

No one is going to make you implement a succession plan, so it’s technically not something that you have to do. However, there are some excellent reasons to do it, apart from the benefits that you will receive.

By choosing not to implement a succession plan, you can find that your club suffers from a number of problems. Firstly, if your volunteers are overwhelmed and overworked, they could choose to leave before you’re ready for them to go. Even if your volunteers leave on good terms, you still don’t want them to go suddenly when you have no plan in place. And how do you encourage new volunteers to take on a role that’s stuck in the dark ages? You’ll be at risk of key committee roles changing hands every six months until eventually there’s nobody left to help out and the club will be at risk.

A succession plan provides a smooth transition, avoiding the problem of a sudden black hole that you can’t fill fast enough.

Without a plan in place to replace key members of your club, you could find that it collapses. Most volunteers don’t know just how much goes into running a club, and without preparing them, you can discover that no one is really ready to take over.

Top Strategies to Consider

There are several ways you could go about creating a succession strategy for your fishing club. Before you think of how you will manage the club in the future, it’s a good idea to start by looking at where your club is now.

Your current position can help to inform you of where to go next and what you need to do to get there. Identifying the needs of your club both now and in the future gives you a good starting place.

Think about the key roles in your fishing club, and consider whether there might be any vacancies soon. Is anyone planning to leave in the next 12 months, or in the next few years? Next, consider what systems and processes you have in place. Would these be easy to hand over to a new volunteer?

Do you know what skills and qualities are required for these roles? You can then consider who might be able to step into these roles, and how to ensure they have the skills & tools that they need to succeed. 

Does the demographic of the committee represent the demographic of your member base?

When building out your plan, think about who your current members are and the types of member you would like to attract. If you want to attract more women to the club, then your succession plan should include a strategy to promote more women on to the committee. If you are looking to attract younger members to the club, then consider how younger members can be transitioned on to the committee too.

Past success is no guarantee for the future, especially when the only constant is change.

Keeping the committee fresh and full of new ideas will help keep your club looking forward. Doing things the way they’ve always been done is considered a very dangerous philosophy in a business environment – it’s no different with fishing clubs either.

A lot can go into succession planning. If you want to protect the future of your fishing club, you should start creating a plan as soon as you can.

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