Succession Planning

By Laurel Hubber, M.ED., MBA, FEA

Do you have next gens (i.e. a son or daughter) working in the business with you? Do you have aspirations (secret or otherwise) that one day the business will transition to them? If so, are you doing what needs to be done to set them up for success?
There are a number of challenges that frequently get in the way of next gens developing as individuals and also as future leaders in a family business. These include:

  • Next gens having limited knowledge of best
    practices related to family business governance.
  • Next gens not being held accountable for results
    Not really.
  • Next gens not receiving enough objective,
    non-family feedback on their performance.

If the plan is for next gens to one day take over the business, these challenges need to be addressed head on, long before the actual transi-tion takes place. If they’re ignored, succession may prove difficult, if not disastrous for family relationships and for the long-term continuity of the business.
The intention, ultimately, is to develop capable and resilient leaders. Next gens may never have to work outside the family business, but they should always be prepared for that possibility. Establishing a more for-malized approach to their development not only ensures that they’re prepared to make it on the “outside” if need be, it also ensures you’re putting the proper preparations in place to one day hand the reins of the business over to capable, confident, and respected managers and leaders. This will be the true test of whether or not you’ve set your next gens up for success! AITF

Laurel Hubber, M.Ed., MBA, FEA is a management consultant and coach for family-owned businesses. For the full version of this article, along with practical suggestions for next gen leadership development, please sign up for our monthly newsletter at You will immediately receive your first issue entitled “Setting Your Next Gens Up For Success”.