Simplifying succession planning

John Broons
John Broons

John Broons is a globally awarded family business expert. One of only three people in Australia to hold the coveted title of Fellow of Family Firm Institute (Boston, USA), John has dedicated his working career to answering the question: how do I guide and support families in business to a place where they’re thriving?

As a family working together in business, implementing a succession plan can be critical for ensuring your company’s longevity and continued success across generations. Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide that will help you navigate the process.

Simplifying succession planning
Finding the right advisor

Find a trusted and experienced advisor who can guide you through the process. This person should have the expertise, knowledge, and understanding to help you create a successful plan tailored to your family business needs.

A clear understanding of your family business

Once you have an advisor, take the time to understand and identify the company’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall history. This will give you a clearer sense of what your business has built so far, and what it may need going forward.

Finding the right successor

Evaluate the people within your company, including their skills, potential, and fit for potential leadership roles. This may include family members, but it doesn’t have to – sometimes the best successor is an external hire.

As you evaluate potential successors, assess the potential impacts of changes in leadership on the business and its stakeholders. What could change? What risks need to be mitigated?

Creating your succession plan

Create a comprehensive succession plan with input from all relevant parties, maybe even including potential successors and key stakeholders. Collaboration and communication are key during this phase, as everyone involved will need to be on the same page.

Execution of your plan

Once your plan is in place, it’s time to execute. Begin the transfer process and communicate changes to all relevant parties. Communication is key here – be transparent and open with everyone involved.

A successful transition

Finally, monitor and assess performance regularly, making adjustments as needed to ensure the success of the transition. Succession planning is an ongoing process, and as such, it’s important to keep an eye on how things are going and tweak things as needed.

Implementing a succession plan requires careful planning, communication, and collaboration – but with the right advisors and a clear, comprehensive plan, you can ensure the continued vitality and success of your family business for generations to come.

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