Leave a Legacy
Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project. He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.
Planning Secret #1: Good Communication
Dec 28, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (12/24/2010)
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As promised in the last eNewsletter, the first secret to planning success is: Learn and use good communication
Communication is the heartbeat of family business. Learning to talk in a respectful and constructive manner is necessary for planning success. Good communication will help the family not only to navigate succession planning, it also will help them grow and develop in the months and years ahead.
Communication is really just talking. Listening to learn from others regarding their wants, needs and intentions is critical to a successful planning outcome. Though families communicate on a regular and consistent basis, they don’t often formalize their efforts to achieve measurable results. Though a family communication plan does not have to be written, it should be formalized. It should include:
- Regular meetings
- Written agendas
- Behavioral guidelines
- A decision-making process
- Written/taped records of each meeting
If you haven’t yet attended a Farm Journal Legacy Project Workshop, consider attending one in 2011. The workshops will again be held in at least 10 different venues across the Midwest. In the first year, we hosted 2,000 participants.
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