Succession Planning

Problems arise because all matters pertaining to the business get mixed up in the overlapping areas. Individuals play multiple roles but mix them inappropriately or lack awareness of how to separate the issues. It is in these overlap areas that confusion reigns.

It is crucial to clearly identify where issues stem from and then move them into the circle in which they belong. By separating the issues in this way they can then be addressed individually, and before they become huge roadblocks.

Succession planning impacts all 3 areas of a family business and is therefore the focal point of the overlap area.

What is Succession Planning?

Systems model
Three Circle Model

A detailed Succession Plan affects all three areas (circles) of a family business and is therefore the focal point of the overlap area. While it serves to protect the ownership and wealth of the business, it also involves the financial plan of the individual owner(s). Additionally, the strategies for management of a family business are reliant on an appropriate succession plan.

Once such a plan is in place, it becomes a great foundation for determining what else needs to be done, and what training or education will be required, to move the family business along.

What Makes a Good Succession plan?

As entrepreneurs, our vision of “succession planning” is generally focused on wills, tax strategies, estate structures and financial planning tools. However, it is important to first identify your personal goals and then ensure that your succession plan, and the family business itself, is structured around them.

The Line of Confidence

The Line of Confidence

The Line of Confidence ™ chart depicts how we guide families from the Inertia Stage, where they are unclear or unsure about what the future might hold, across the Line of Confidence, to the Implementation Stage where they are informed and excited about what they can build together as a family.

We call the left side of the chart, the Education Phase. Here we employ a variety of tools that inform and educate families so that they can develop the confidence to address the inevitable change in leadership of their family business.

So whether it’s a little uncertainty, a deeper fear, or just plain old procrastination that stops you, we can help you move forward with confidence.

Conflict Management

The Positive Conflict Model

The Positive Conflict Model

The Positive Conflict Model™ is integral to creating a safe environment for family businesses to communicate and manage conflict and change.  Through the use of tactics associated with this model, we can successfully guide families in business through the conflict that comes with change or conversely, introduce change in a positive way when conflict avoidance can lead to stagnation.

Communication and Organizational Structures

Unproductive avoidance or inability to deal with conflict is often a result of poor communication.

We can help your family business design and implement formal structures and policies that facilitate communication, expedite decision making and increase accountability so that miscommunication and unresolved issues do not lead to conflict that cannot be managed.  Our consulting services will help you design and Family Business Charter, create management meeting guidelines, Board of Directors or Advisors, performance standards and review systems, family participation policies and other policies and structures that will help your family make change a positive force in your business that will not lead to destructive conflict.

Facilitation and Mediation

Our skilled facilitators can help avoid problems down the road by helping your family business come to decisions in the present to avoid problems down the road, whether they involve management succession, inheritance or strategic business direction.  Our client is the family business system, not any one individual or entity.  This allows you to focus on the best interests of the whole and avoid adversarial approaches to decision making.

In the case of a significant dispute that needs resolution, we can provide truly neutral third party mediation.  Our model of mediation seeks to resolve conflict by enhancing understanding.  Disputes in a family context can be resolved with all concerned not only continuing, but also enhancing their interpersonal relationships.  It would be tragic to simply resolve a conflict where the economic issues are agreed to, but the family members stop speaking to each other.  Disputes that lend themselves to our approach include inheritance, business sale and business control issues.