Succession Planning - Starting the Conversation

With family gathering for the holidays, many look at this time as an opportunity to talk about the succession plan.  In a prior post we discussed the staging of a family meeting, and in this post I thought I would give some suggestions on what questions should/could be discussed.  Remember, everyone should feel free to express their views and answers without fear that they will hurt someone’s feelings or result in any ill-will.  Just because Mom and Dad don’t think a particular child is the right choice as a successor does not mean they love that child any less.While there are many questions that will need to be answered along the way, there are several big ones that need to be addressed before any real work can occur on the details. Here are five questions to get you started at your meeting this holiday season:

  1. Is the son/daughter interested in participating in the family business?

  2. If so, what role would he/she fill?

  3. What training is needed so that he/she can succeed in that role?

  4. What will mom and dad need for retirement?

  5. What will son/daughter require to sustain a living?

Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.  You do not need to know all of the answers immediately – even to these five questions.  The plan will evolve with patient persistence.  For additional help, you may want to consider using the Inspired Questions™ App created by my friend Dave Specht.   Merry Christmas and Happy Planning.