According to this Industry Week article, speciality alloy manufacturer Winsert Inc., made a successful and seamless transition into the second generation of family management.
However, according to PwC’s Family Business Survey 2016, Winsert may be in the minority as the survey revealed that succession in family businesses is often poorly planned or even non-existent.
PwC found that less than 15% of firms have documented and communicated their succession plan, a finding that flies in the face of another family businesses claim - that continuity over time is their number-one priority.
Planning succession is one of the most difficult topics to address within a family-owned business where different generations have to address the “Bermuda Triangle” of family businesses - Love, Power and Money. For the Lemery family, the value of merit over pre-destination, letting go the reins of power and remuneration and reward were their trio of challenges.
For the average UK family business, navigating that particular Bermuda Triangle may be a long and difficult process, but getting it right can help families stay in their business for the long haul.
When it was time for founder Steve Dickinson to hand the reins of the company to the next generation, he carefully evaluated each of his three children. “My dad went through an interviewing process and a whole personality profile,” recalls Trisha Dickinson Lemery, his younger daughter. He asked each of his children if they wanted to run the company. When he had decided that Trisha would succeed him, he had her engage in a five-year preparation process which included hiring a professional mentor. People still approach her, she notes, to ask if they can have a copy of the succession plan to use in their own business.