CASE STUDY: Agriculture Entity’s Successful Succession Plan
What happens when the long-term general manager for a reclamation district retires?
California’s Reclamation District 108 faced this difficult challenge, and asked Mandelberg to help facilitate a smooth and effective transition.
The RD 108 General Manager reports to a district board of directors comprised of land-owners from the district. As stakeholders, the board members’ role is to support and hold the general manager accountable for the fulfillment of the District’s mission.
The mission of the District is threefold:
2. Ensure district properties have sufficient water for agricultural production; and,
3. Prevent erosion.
In identifying the challenges, the District had to overcome, Mandelberg delivered an effective process that led to a result exceeding the client’s expectations.
“We had a great experience with Mandelberg. Larry gave us direction and process. He helped us to define our most critical roles, put together all of our thoughts, and come out with clear definitions.”
– CA Reclamation District
Thus, these challenges had to be overcome:
- Lewis wanted a clear understanding of the Board’s expectations and how that would be measured;
- The written GM job description on-record was 15+ years old.
- The Board had no idea how the job responsibilities for the GM had evolved.
- The Board didn’t have a handle on exactly what the GM did, much less how to prioritize efforts, measure performance, and set fair compensation.
Process & Results
A primary evaluation tool that was implemented was the Balanced Scorecard, which is essentially a report card that can be used to measure overall performance, identify areas of strength and weakness, and provide the Board, and Lewis, an assessment tool that will be used to monitor performance.
This approach enabled the District to achieve:
- Improved internal communications,
- Assess performance with more objectivity and consistency, and
- Create clear mutual expectations with their new GM.
The critical role Larry played was in compressing time for the client. Due to Mandelberg’s experience and time-tested process, the client smoothly navigated this succession in leadership, while also instituting a logical structure that was easily introduced into their culture, and into every element of their business.
“Larry saved me a year’s salary with his knowledge, honesty, tools, and frank comments! It was a wonderful experience.”