The Fallacy of "Succession Plan"

Love Tom Curran. But he's wrong when he, like many pundits, complains about the lack of a "Succession Plan" for Josh McDaniels.

Successions often go badly in business. Jack Welch. Bob Iger. Ray Dalio.

Obviously, same in sports. We just lived one with OC.

But is it better to have a "Plan" in place - someone in-house who automatically will get the job (rather than merely a chance to prove, in their assistant job, that they deserve the chance if the opportunity opens up)?

No. Usually it's dumb. You can't easily "keep around" a talented person who happily sits there until the top spot becomes open.

Much better to hire "Best available." Maybe you're impressed by an in-house talent, of course, great. So then hire him and the bonus is continuity. Maybe not, you take the best available on the market.

If you overvalue "smooth succession," like Curran, you need to be willing to keep mediocre people as assistants, so that they're certainly available, because nobody else poaches them.

Things go smoothly when these hard-working but mediocre people are next men up....but often it's low ceiling high floor. That was the Nick Caley option.

What's the Succession Plan for Tom Curran? If Tom departs, will they take best available person to be Insider at NBC Sports Boston? Or has Tom or management stashed a future "Insider" that nobody has ever heard of? Of course they'll take the best person. MAYBE there's an amazing young talent waiting in house, but that's luck, not "planning."

For a while Phil Perry was the succession plan, but he emerged as so good he is now an equal. You could have tried to keep him off air but then he just would have left.


Which brings me to Kraft. Hey, he's rich, nepotism succession plan in place for himself, whatever. At least Jonathan doesn't have Mark Davis haircut.

I'm so curious what the Kraft Succession Plan will be for Belichick.

- Maybe it's Jerod Mayo as HC, Bill as GM or Parcells-like presence.

- But if not Mayo, then I think it will be clean break with no succession plan. No BB sons, no BB as advisor.

Jonathan in particular is eager to hire best avail from a few people he and Dad have admired for years (like Robert did with BB after Carroll). No more BB treating him like a kid.

It's been interesting to watch Coach K this year. Probably best comp to BB. K handpicked his successor, overruling the Duke U president. Now K talks to the coach every day, still has his hands in things. I don't see that happening here.

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