A good insight into the challenges around succession in that many firms, family firms included, leave succession planning off the agenda as they feel that it is something that will just sort itself out at the right time. Sadly, there are too many well written examples of this not being the case, families being disrupted by a process down the line, and siblings/cousins falling out with each other.
A proper process, started early enough, with clear communication can empower an organisation, ensure a swift and effective leadership transition and help family firms turn the succession process into a positive vehicle for their business.
Nobody says that it is going to be easy, but with thought, planning and engagement, honest and open conversations, it has to be better than just continually deferring the inevitable!
It’s difficult to imagine two topics more important for an organization than succession planning and leadership development. Without strong leaders and a process for replacing them when the time comes, the prospects for enduring growth and success can be dim. Let’s face it, an organization is only as good as its commitment to developing its leaders. Based on our experience in business and in academia, succession planning is insufficient, or in some areas such as higher education, an afterthought that only receives attention when a need or vacancy occurs.