At Volaris, we cultivate the next generation of leaders and spend the time developing our people. We do this not only to ensure that we have the right people in the right roles but also for succession planning.
A great example of this is Kinetic Solutions. In 2016, their founder and General Manager stepped away from the business and one of their current leaders, Robert Turner, was promoted to become the new head of the company. It was a very successful transition and let’s look at how it was a smooth process for them.
Kinetic Solutions was founded in 1998 by Chris Wildsmith and Steve Ashley. Based in Milton Keynes, UK, Kinetic is a leading provider of student accommodation, residential and event management solutions for higher education institutions, conference centers, and venues throughout the UK and North America.
In 2015, Kinetic joined Volaris with Chris Wildsmith still at the helm. Operations carried on as normal and Kinetic achieved newfound growth under Volaris.
A New Era
In 2016, an opportunity arose for Chris Wildsmith to be the new leader at one of Volaris’ marine businesses. Ready for a new challenge, Chris took the role but knew someone would have to fill the gap that he was leaving at Kinetic.
The obvious choice for the new general manager was Robert (Rob) Turner. Rob started at Kinetic in 2009 as an intern while he was in university. Eventually, he joined the company full time throughout his 7-year career worked his way up from support into development and operational management, to Technical Director. Because Rob had held different positions during his tenure, he was extremely knowledgeable about the company, the clients, and the industry. He understood all aspects of the business and had become an important member of Chris’ leadership team.
Rob has been leading Kinetic since 2016. Under his management, Kinetic has continued to achieve successful growth and completed their first acquisition – Occam Systems in early 2018.
Keys to Success
The transition between Chris and Rob was successful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Rob was already an established leader in the organization and employees trusted and respected him. As well, he had a proven track record since he had worked his way up the organization. Therefore, it wasn’t a shock to the employees that Rob was taking on the GM role and accepted his appointment. It’s important to have the support of the employees when there is a new leader in order for the company to be successful and Rob definitely had his team supporting him in this new venture.
Finally, the new leader must understand the vision for the company, have a clear grasp on the goals that need to be achieved, and maintain a positive culture throughout the organization. Since Rob was an internal hire, he already knew the vision and the goals for Kinetic and was one of the leaders who helped set the culture. Which is why at Volaris, we prefer to promote from within whenever possible.
At Volaris, we assist each and every one of our businesses to build out a succession plan. Even if you’re not planning on exiting your business for some time, it is important to have a succession plan in place. It helps you to identify potential leaders in the organization and build for the future. Or if an unexpected opportunity pops up, you’ll be able to transition out of the business without fearing what will happen to it in your absence.