Natalie Lynch November 18, 2019 The Importance of Redundancy Some people function as the heart and soul of their organization, as happens with Founder’s Syndrome. Others act as the primary benefactor and reason the organization remains afloat year after year. Having someone like this in your organization is a tremendous asset as well as a gaping chink in your armor. While the obvious benefits of having an impactful leader or extravagantly generous donor aiding your organization are numerous, the trouble lying in wait in situations like these can not be ignored. The Issue of Dependance Organizations which lean heavily on single members may function smoothly in the short term, but there’s no knowing how long that person will continue their tenure within the business. The most dedicated business leaders are still mere mortals at the end of the day. Even barring departure from the business or their mortal coils, there are times when influential members of organizations have drastic impacts on their businesses. Tesla is a great example of an organization that was negatively impacted by its strong ties reliance on its CEO. Elon Musk has become more than a figurehead for his company as his presence in the public eye skyrocketed in recent years. His charisma and intelligence endeared many to his company at first and created a massive swell of attention, positively impacting Tesla’s stock value over the past few years. However, that same connection in the public mind between Elon Musk and Tesla also led to a massive dip in Tesla stock when the SEC announced they were suing Musk for fraud in 2018. Tesla shares plummeted nearly 13% in the wake of this news. The future of Tesla seems connected directly to Elon Musk as both entities are tied firmly together in most people’s minds. While he stepped down from his board seat per the settlement reached between Tesla and the SEC, Musk remains the company’s CEO. Musk’s plans for the future of Tesla are far-reaching, but whether Tesla could outlive him remains a question. Is there someone positioned to take over for Musk when the time comes that he can no longer perform his duties as CEO? Redundancy Secures Future Operations Steve Jobs is a household name around the world and many feared what Apple would look like after his departure. When he stepped down in August of 2011, Apple stock dropped nearly 3% on the following day of trading. Luckily, Tim Cook had previously taken the reins at Apple during times when Steve Jobs’ health made it too difficult for him to perform his role prior to Jobs officially stepping down. As we know today, Apple was able to navigate through difficult times after Jobs resigned his post, still continuing to run strongly after the luminary’s death thanks in large part to the preparations which were made well ahead of Jobs’ departure. Tim Cook’s experience within the organization and time spent acting in Jobs’ shoes during times of need gave him the tools he needed to ensure the future of Apple. Thanks to this use of redundancy by Apple, the company was able to outlive the leader whom so many considered synonymous with the organization he led. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which Tesla fails to adapt to the loss of their leader as Apple successfully did. While Musk should have many years left in him yet, savvy investors would surely feel more at ease if they knew there was someone else waiting in the wings to take over just in case. Creating redundancy within your own organization will make sure a sudden departure won’t upset operations or send the entire organization reeling. Strong personalities with deep ties to your organization are extremely valuable additions to your team, but it’s important to make sure you have plans in place in case they decide to make a career change or something else unforeseen occurs. If you’d like to talk shop, use our team of experts, or are in need of legal aid for your organization, give us a call. We think our team of HR, strategy, legal, and cultural experts can help your organization efficiently create redundancies.