Planning succession?

It’s probably normal to ponder the Bigger Things when a friend dies. I’ve just had the experience and have been thinking a great deal about our challenges, and the many key people who do so much to improve our lot.

Through Rolling Inspiration we’re often specially privileged in being exposed to strong people who are each doing great things in our sector. But, as the Minister said in our last issue, so much has been done; but there’s much more to do… We can never say we have enough people doing what has to be done.

We do have some very outstanding achievers who produce miracles of progress out of the hat, but when key people go, there’s often a vacuum left behind; and it’s seldom that there is someone ready to step forward and fill it. Is there really enough depth within our leadership bank in the disability sector yet?

Now is the time to start planning for succession and continuity. It might sound harsh and impersonal, but we must be proactive in a constant search for Good People. We must identify them, prime them, show them, teach them, motivate them and prepare them now – before other Good People go.

Also it doesn’t seem to me that there is ever a “right time” for people to die or move on to other challenges. Some go after long illness, an accident or an opportunity – it doesn’t help either way; you miss the person just the same, whether it was expected, or not.

And, indeed, there really is a great deal of work still to do. Many, many tasks and projects which are essential for progress and success, still have to be done. And we need new initiatives; we need new people with new ideas and inspirations.

Already, with what we know we must do, we are under-resourced.

A rewarding part of the thought process I’ve just been through, was the realisation that the truly Good People, have such humility and wisdom in their culture of achievement that they recognise these needs long before they go. Maria Ratho and Friday Mavuso are sorely missed and were champions of the cause.

And now, Neville Cohen was certainly one of those too. He had greatness in his time; and he had the profound awareness that he needed to lay plans for when he went. Neville will be missed; very much, but his achievements have been entrenched by his own good planning for succession; and the laying strategies which will be sustainable into the future.

Neville passed away recently and we cover his achievements in this issue.

Neville was a true friend of mine for over 15 years and if I only follow in one of his wheel tracks, I will be a proud person with reasonable direction.

Thank you for everything you taught me Neville. Thank you for guiding QASA, supporting QASA and being part of our organisation, in the engine room, always giving the best and wise advice.

Neville’s heritage will probably be with us always. What a man for our times! What a life! What a future he leaves behind!

I miss you Neville Cohen, you will always be remembered.

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