Time for Evolution

Strategic Scientific have hit a new milestone.
Not a strange one, not a major event, but a little stepping stone along the way of company evolvement.
We have had one of our significant, early on board, associates leave.
People lives change, different influences pull them in different directions. The same happens to companies, and so you find at some point nothing lines up the way it did before and the bond has to be broken so all parties can best pursue their needs.
From the company perspective this takes some anticipation of the event - being aware of the signs that the working relationship is under strain, that it's no longer meeting the company expectations. Indicators can be a reduction in the ease or frequency of communication with particular individuals. It could be a lack of flexibility in their approach to projects or willingness to accept new processes, changes, adaptations to what is required or hoped for. The signs are there and senior management need to be constantly vigilent.
Trying to address these issues doesn't always reach a solution - sometimes it can be hard for an individual to articulate the reason why things don't feel right and there can be unclear messages between what is said and what is done. But once the decision that a parting of the ways needs to happen has been reached, even if it is only on the management side, then the actuality needs to be planned for.
Knowledge is key. What does that individual know and what skills do they bring to the organisation. What imapct  will their departure have on the day-2-day functioning of the business and also on the medium term plans.
How can you ensure that you capture all the knowledge that you need to keep the company moving forwards and who within your current team matches up on the skills side, or what skills do you need to recruit in as replacement.
It doesn't have to be a 1 for 1 swap. In SSC that hasn't happened. We have looked at the departing skill set and divided that up into 3 areas, one which is covered by a new recruit, one which will be brought in as an occasional resource and the final area will be covered by current team expanding their role and interests. It has taken a few months of preparation but it has gone smoothly.
And that preparation has made the actual departure easier for all sides.
No shock, no great upheaval, just a simple parting of the ways and best wishes for all involved for the future.
As it should be.