Succession Planning – Part 2
What Does A Family Business Represent?
The symbolic and real power of a family business cannot be overestimated. Family members’ connections with the business can profoundly affect their individual self-esteem, as well as the quality of their relationships within the family. In this post (Succession Planning – Part 2) we discuss the conceptual background for succession planning.
But in addition to giving the family an identity in the community, the FOB can become the playing field on which many family issues get acted out. For instance, when families start tackling the problem of succession, many of the unresolved family and business issues begin surfacing. And because people generally tend to avoid dealing with difficult issues, these matters build up over time and may take on an almost mythical power. This powerful tension only serves to discourage a family from facing up to the underlying problems.
How To Start Dealing With Succession
It is critical to the health of both family and business to deal with succession as soon as possible. This effort requires patience and delicate handling, but it definitely can be accomplished. The key is simply to face reality. We find that fantasy is usually more frightening than reality. That is to say, the consequences of dealing with succession are generally more frightening in one’s imagination than they are in reality.
Succession is not a decision. It is an organized process that involves discussion, information gathering, evaluation, and research, asking necessary questions and much more. If you address the issue of succession as a process that includes all family members, the power and the tension associated with the decision will be significantly reduced.
The information, tools, and strategies in our Succession Planning posts will be invaluable guides to your process … but they are only guides. The decisions and the commitment must be yours!
The steps that follow will require a commitment of time. It has been our experience that FOB people are highly skilled at making dreams become a reality. The succession problem is merely another intellectual problem to be solved. It can be an extremely difficult and complicated process that may at times seem to be an endless and unsolvable dilemma. However, if one approaches the process in an organized manner, it’s possible to preserve the business and the family.