When diving into the fundamentals of succession planning with prospective clients I meet on the succession planning keynote speaker circuit, I often compare the process to creating a last will and testament. After all, that’s essentially what it is: basic estate planning for one’s business.
Many of the people I meet on my succession planning retreats share a common complaint: strategy takes work! It can be incredibly difficult to tear oneself away from the day-to-day management of the business to focus time and resources on what feels like a theoretical future.
As a consultant and succession planning keynote speaker, I often take it for granted that business owners know what it is, and why it is important. However, several recent virtual conversations with groups of business owners made me realize that this is not the case—so I thought this might be a good time to revisit some succession planning fundamentals.
I have come across an assessment tool that could be a game changer when looking to promote or hire new talent into a key role in your organization. It is called pymetrics, and is an Ai based assessment tool which helps you find the best fit for any particular role. It was developed by Frida Polli PhD; an academic neuroscientist from Harvard and MIT turned entrepreneur.
I recently read this excellent article by David Lancefield in the Harvard Business Review and it made me think about an important principle during times of high stress, that of self-care.
There’s nothing like a legitimate crisis for teaching business leaders what they’re really made of. As someone whose early days in the family business were defined by crisis leadership, I could not agree more. But I didn’t do it alone. In my case, the crisis leadership in question was delivered by my mentor, business turnaround specialist Frank.
If there’s a small silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the opportunity that many companies have had to make their operations remote.
When one thinks of generational differences it can be easy to think of these as a negative; as the seeds of corporate conflict. But looking back on my own childhood and the early years of my adult working life, I now recognize that a family business is strongest when it can successfully balance honoring long-held traditions with leading change and innovation.
When leading succession planning retreats, I often ask my attendees to think about the managers they have worked for over the years and whether or not these people were good leaders. I received very different answers – what I heard was astounding.
I have always been serious about improving my leadership skills and investing in professional development. This goes back 25 years to when I was a young leader in my family business, and was responsible for leading a team of people who were older and more experienced than myself. Today, as a leadership and succession planning keynote speaker, I help my clients develop these qualities.
Within the next 10 years, Boomers will have all but handed over the reins of corporate leadership to succeeding generations. This is likely the biggest leadership handover the corporate world has seen to date, and companies large and small are wisely making preparations. On the succession planning keynote speaker circuit, I’ve been working with my clients to create unique strategies that work within the realms of their family businesses.
While my own family business made it to the third generation before seriously faltering, falter it did—this is a big part of why I landed on the succession planning keynote speaker circuit.