Question 18: Succession Plan

 
Old Nov 8, 07, 7:39 pm
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Question 18: Succession Plan

This question was submitted my member Punki:
We all know that Randy's contract with IB is up in 3.5 years. Let's say Randy sends you a note and asks you to put together a rough draft of a plan for his succession, how would you respond?
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Old Nov 8, 07, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted my member Punki:
We all know that Randy's contract with IB is up in 3.5 years. Let's say Randy sends you a note and asks you to put together a rough draft of a plan for his succession, how would you respond?
Well you tell me what you would want to do? This is just total speculation and I dont see the point of the question.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 9:12 pm
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I'd say I'm not qualified to help him and wish him luck in any future ventures.

I have stated in my platform that I hope the Talkboard can play an active role in helping IB guide the future of the board. I want the the Talkboard to help keep the community that we've created intact.

I don't think the Talkboard can replace Randy or act as benevolent dictator.

The board has been bought by a business that is very capable of running the board as it sees fit. I think that the Talkboard can play the role of guide, sounding board, or conscience for IB. That is of course, if they want it to. In the end its IB's decision.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 9:49 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
Let's say Randy sends you a note and asks you to put together a rough draft of a plan for his succession, how would you respond?
I would just have some simple, friendly advice:


As someone who considers himself quite fortunate to have worked with Randy for the last five years, I would suggest that he fulfill the remainder of his contract in his usual professional manner.

And then survey the lay of the land at that point.

If he sees a FT that still fits his vision and details can be worked out, I would suggest he stay with FT in the best interests of everyone associated with the site.

But if things don't work out long term, I'd suggest he saddle up his horse and head out to greener pastures. And maybe some of would be lucky enough to come along for the ride.

Nobody is irreplaceable but, by the same token, nobody will ever wear Randy's boots here at FlyerTalk.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 5:58 am
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Straight from Randy's mouth, "I'll work for free for as long as they'll have me."

I don't want to avoid the question, but I can't click my heels together and imagine a world where Randy is not part of FT.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 7:08 am
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It is my hope that Internet Brands can make it worth his while to continue past the end of his current commitment. Serial entrepreneur that he is, I could imagine him moving onto other projects -- and that could be good, actually, since it would give him time to participate in FT as a member and post about miles and points instead of driving around the OMNI RV.

I'd tell him to follow his passion, and if I felt that Flyertalk would be lost without him (perhaps six months before his commitment was due to end) I would ask him on behalf of members to continue.

But the real question is what we do as members to continue to build the community in the interim, and to speak clearly in a dialogue with Internet Brands, the new owner of the site, about how it should continue to grow nad prosper such that it's win-win.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 8:57 am
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I will be honest with everyone while emphasizing that I mean absolutely no disrespect towards Randy, who I respect greatly:

I couldn't possibly care about what Randy decides to do 3.5 years from now.

3.5 years is an eternity in the information age. 3.5 years from now my 2-year-old daughter will be in kindergarten, I will have hit another decade in my inevitable decline towards a certain death, and I may or may not be as passionate about FT as I am now. I hope I am, but things happen in life and I can't tell you how I'll feel next year, let alone in 2011.

So, I'm not avoiding the question as much as I'm saying that I'm not sure why the person who asked the question is so worried about what the answer is. Life goes on and will continue to go on, Randy or no Randy.

Carpe diem, in perpetuam.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted my member Punki:
We all know that Randy's contract with IB is up in 3.5 years. Let's say Randy sends you a note and asks you to put together a rough draft of a plan for his succession, how would you respond?
Since Randy has not sent me (or you, or anyone else) a note to this effect, I'm not (as mentioned elsewhere) going to climb over his carcass to score points with the FT membership by submitting a detailed answer.

I would ask him how he thinks a post-Randy FT would look like, and go from there. Knowing Mr. Petersen to be a pretty astute guy, I'm going to assume that by that point he'd have a plan in place already, and am certainly not arrogant enough to believe he needs my (or anyone else's) advice on the subject.

I'd respectfully submit that we all do the same, rather that trying to engineer a Talkboard election platform on a hypothetical.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 10:24 am
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As a member of the Talkboard I'd endeavor to establish a relationship with the new owners of FT whether Randy stays or goes. Randy is a fantastic operator but it's always a good idea to get to know and establish a relationship with the owner, too.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
As a member of the Talkboard I'd endeavor to establish a relationship with the new owners of FT whether Randy stays or goes. Randy is a fantastic operator but it's always a good idea to get to know and establish a relationship with the owner, too.
Yes its always nice to talk to the owners are some stage but I would tend to think that people may try and become "Do you know who we are" and this sort of thing would not be best at all.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Yes its always nice to talk to the owners are some stage but I would tend to think that people may try and become "Do you know who we are" and this sort of thing would not be best at all.
Indeed, presentation is everything.

So if I am elected to the TB I'll throw an inauguration party in LA and invite McG et.al. Hey, maybe I can even get his vote with that promise!!!
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Old Nov 9, 07, 11:41 am
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With all due respect to Randy, FT will be just fine as long as nobody makes careless changes. You might as well ask the mother of a recent college graduate how she is going to take of him. Randy's job is essentially completed, and a great success it is.

By way of analogy, I went on vacation for a week recently without any Internet access. I moderate the Southwest forum, and I wondered what might happen with no moderator watching things. Answer: Nobody even noticed. It's the same with FT. We are all well trained enough to keep this thing going indefinitely.

Internet Brands has exactly the same interest as Randy: keeping FT healthy. The only real danger is unintended consequence of well-intentioned change.

I work within walking distance of Internet Brands. If they try anything destructive, I'll march over there and give them an earful until they get religion. But with input from FTers, input which they are diligently soliciting, they won't make any serious mistakes. I've met John McGanty and he's a great listener.

FT's future is secure.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 1:50 pm
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My platform has been based upon continuity. As this talkboard's term will not last through the end of the 3.5 years, I don't understand the nature of the question. He's also hinted that even after the contract is up, he doesn't plan on going anywhere.

Even if he were to disappear tomorrow, my succession plan would be simply to continue what he's put in place. IMO Randy has done an incredible job guiding and growing his "baby", which FT truly is. What will change in the future, I cannot know. I can see those charged with solving the quandry asking themselves "WWRD" (What Would Randy Do). If I'm in that position, I know I will be. If I am elected I also plan to move for that phrase to be added to the glossary.
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Old Nov 10, 07, 8:54 am
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Succession Plan

Randy is an intelligent entrepreneur who will not only do fine for himself, but for the FlyerTalk community too.

In the unlikely event he asks me for my advice, I'd keep it short & simple: just keep doing what he does best.... for himself and the community.

I have no fears that a transition post-Randy will be anything but a smooth one.
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Old Nov 10, 07, 9:19 am
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Well I hope there is a plan of success for Flyertalk, which by my reckon has been very successful already.

{ok I'm just kidding about pretending to misunderstand the word "succession", but really, the topic of succession is one that would belong to the guy who started it all - Randy, and I can't imagine Randy ever sending an email to me and asking me to come up with one.}
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