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.
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.
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.
In the midst of this global crisis that we’re all navigating together, most business owners and leaders are focused on basic survival. They’re exploring the nuances of a (suddenly) remote workforce, looking for creative ways to recoup unexpected losses, and pondering substantial operational pivots to adapt to an ever-expanding “distance marketplace.”
In times of crisis, employees look to their leaders for reassurance as well as inspiration. They want to know that the company they work for is going to survive the current challenges—and hopefully, one day thrive. We have never before seen the global economy hit “pause” in this way.
The combination of family and business is always a challenging one – and never more so than during the changing of the guard. As I’ve seen first-hand, both during my travels as a succession planning speaker and in my experience taking over my family’s business, firm boundaries, and indisputable objectivity are essential to the succession planning process. As a succession planning speaker, I’m often asked for common succession planning scenarios in which a Board of Advisors can be particularly helpful.
In my travels on the succession planning speaker and business turnaround speaker circuits, one of the most popular topics of discussion is leadership talent. My clients wonder: when is the right time to choose one’s successor, and what kind of leaders should they be looking for?
Here is the second blog in my Succession Planning Blog Series. The blogs in this series are designed to provide you with steps you can take as you travel down the road on your own succession planning journey