Succession is a tough nut.Leadership succession is hard for everyone. According to a recent article in Newsweek, large publicly traded firms struggle with succession. It’s an inherently difficult process. Add to that process all the family dynamics that have given family businesses a negative connotation, especially in the U.S, per that same Newsweek article. Throw in a host of family business leaders who equate succession with death because they have nothing to transition to once they are “out” of the business because they failed to acknowledge their own departures, and it's no wonder succession is easier to avoid than tackle head on.
How to manage family business succession.The good news is that succession can be managed with a good process that is neither magical nor difficult to understand. One of the things family businesses can do is empower a board that includes a few directors outside the family business to help manage the development of new talent and choose a successor. The final decision can be based on requirements that have identified the most qualified successor to lead the business (as opposed to perceived favoritism), which will minimize family pain.