Succession Planning

The longest suspension bridge around may not be the Mackinac or the Golden Gate, but the span between generations in a family enterprise. More often than not, the emphasis in succession planning begins with the senior generation and their pressing concerns. When do they...

It's too early to tell, but a shift in perspective on succession may be playing out in organizations all across the country. Over the last few months, the magnitude of a global crisis has caused many leaders to re-examine their priorities. In some companies,...

From Walmart and Mars to the corner store in your neighborhood, about 90% of all U.S. businesses are family-owned or family-controlled. At any given time, a large percentage of these companies is facing a generational transition. Yet it’s reported that less than half have...

Gates had Buffett, Oprah had Maya, and Dylan had Guthrie.  In your world, who do the next generation of leaders look up to? Many family-owned companies say they expect to transfer leadership to the next generation, yet only a small percentage have a plan...

“The final test of greatness in a CEO is how well he chooses a successor and whether he can step aside and let his successor run the company.” Those deceptively simple words are from Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, whose ideas continue...

During the mid-1930s, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello introduced their famous vaudeville comedy sketch “Who’s on First?” about a fictitious baseball team. As they try to communicate with each other about the various players, the conversation becomes more and more confusing. Toward the end...

If you’ve spent any time around the family business arena, you’ve come across the number: 70% of family companies don’t make it to a second generation, either because the business fails or for other reasons a decision is made to sell to a third...

Many leaders, when they think about succession, have a narrow definition in mind. For example, one owner might be lasered in on who will own shares in the future and whether to sell or transfer them. Another may be preoccupied with who will be...

If you’re a senior leader in a family enterprise, you’re probably bombarded on a regular basis with pleas to begin succession planning: Your attorney is concerned about avoiding income and estate taxes, and disputes over control. Your CPA says you need an updated valuation...

When you were younger, did you ever participate in a spelling bee? I recently reconnected with some childhood friends and it reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in a long time – the day I lost the 5th grade spelling bee. I...