The success and longevity of a family business comes down to theplanning and vision of the controlling owners. Their leadership of thesuccession planning process is crucial. Without it, frustration, rivalry,and anger can replace long-held family relationships and values.
Taking care of owners’needs and accepting the hopes of the succeeding generation is the key to aneffective transition. Owners need to value next-gen views and embraceinsights that may at first seem contrary to good business.
There has always been areason why the leadership of a firm must eventually transition to the nextgeneration. The younger generation is often more in tune with the desiresof younger customers, which is important to any ongoing business. Theyare also more accustomed to new technologies and modern businesspractices. The key to effective transition is supporting the needs andaspirations of both generations. Maintaining quality relationships builton trust and respect is essential.
Generational change inbusiness requires the same ingredients as a successful marriage, most notablyCOMPROMISE. Anyone who doesn’t believe this will struggle withsuccession, and this will lead to an exit strategy of another kind. It isthe controlling owners’ responsibility to execute on a future path, and it isthe next generation’s responsibility to accept the needs of the seniorgeneration and to aspire to their own.
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