Succession planning – defining roles and responsibilities for the next generation

Picture of 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?

Family business succession planning is a topic close to my heart. I understand the joy and challenges that come with being part of a family business, and I’m here to offer some guidance on the importance of defining roles and responsibilities for the next generation.

Succession planning – defining roles and responsibilities for the next generation
Establishing clarity in the transition

In a family business, everyone is connected both by blood and by a shared purpose. But as the torch is passed from one generation to the next, it’s crucial to have clarity and alignment about who will be responsible for what. This not only ensures a smooth transition but also sets the stage for the continued success and growth of your business.

Building a dynamic and efficient team

By defining roles and responsibilities, you are laying the foundation for a dynamic and efficient team that can tackle any challenge that comes their way. Each family member needs to have a specific role that aligns with their strengths, skills, and passions. Creating clarity allows everyone to focus on what they excel at, fostering a sense of fulfillment, empowerment, and ultimately, success.

Preventing confusion or conflict

Defining roles and responsibilities helps avoid any confusion, conflicts, or overlapping responsibilities within the family business. It provides a clear roadmap for decision-making and accountability, preventing any misunderstandings or disagreements down the line. With clearly defined roles, the next generation can come together as a united front, building upon the legacy and values established by the previous generation.

Uniting the next generation

Defining roles and responsibilities in a family business is a great way to honor the strengths and talents of each family member, creating a space where everyone can thrive and contribute their unique skills. It also allows for the opportunity to nurture and develop the next generation’s leadership skills and business acumen, ensuring a strong and sustainable future for your family business.

I encourage you to take the time to sit down with your family and have an open and honest conversation. Discuss your hopes, dreams, and visions for the future of your business. Together, identify the roles and responsibilities that will best serve the growth and continuity of your family business. Embrace the joy, pride, and connection that comes with being part of a family business, and let it guide you as you work with your family members to define the roles and responsibilities for the next generation.

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