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Goals Clarification Worksheet

April 10, 2010
By: Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal Columnist
 
 

Most farmers and agribusiness owners seem to have a good idea of what they want to achieve when they think about succession. Yet their ideas may be a bit fuzzy and undefined. As they describe their desires they use general terms, and tend to say, ‘you-know' a lot.

 
The struggle comes in trying to turn intentions into goals; goals into actions; and actions into results. If we can help you create specific goals you can take the action necessary to move to the next step.

Download this tool in PDF format.

 
Use this series of questions to help you become more specific. Take a few moments and consider your situation; answer the questions and note your responses. Then ask your spouse, parents and active children to do the same. Compare answers and see how your succession goals align.
 
 
1.      Maintain the Operational Integrity
 
Transitioning to new ownership/management should be an obvious natural next step to growing our operation. So we will incrementally transition responsibilities to the next generation (successive manager[s]) over the next ____ years.
 
To increase management capabilities we will utilize:
____ Formal education
____ Various experiences
____ Seminars/workshops/extension programs
____ Mentors
____ Strategic alliance partners
 
 
Our succession plan will be written to prevent inactive owners.
____ Yes
____ No
 
 
Management control will be passed to: ________________________.
[or -   ____ not identified yet]
 
 
Our succession plan must allow/encourage qualified family members, including currently inactive, to apply for employment openings.
____ Yes
____ No
 
 
To keep peace in the family, and maximize our talent pool, we will consider dividing the operation into separate units.
____ Yes
____ No
 
Our succession plan must restrict ownership to lineal descendants only.
____ Yes
____ No
 
2.     Enhance the Family's Financial Security
 
The senior generation should / must receive financial support from the operation in retirement.
____ Yes
____ No
 

 

We have a written plan for growth / development.
____ Yes
____ No
 

All ownership transactions should be based on fair market value.
____ Yes
____ No
 

We ___ have [ ___ will] diversify financial resources outside of operation.
 

Our plan must compensate for death, disability, long-term infirmity and other undesirable calamities.
____ Yes
____ No
 
 
The family must provide support for a parent, disabled dependent or other person[s].
____ Yes
____ No
 

The senior / retiring generation should receive an inflation adjusted income of
$ ___________.
 

3.     Prepare the Next Generation to Lead
 

Our operation is managed with written:
____ Operating agreement
____ Employment policy
____ Business plan
____ Financial statements
 

The senior generation and second generation will assume mentor roles allowing the next generation to assume responsibilities, make decisions and carry the mantle of accountability.
____ Yes
____ No
 

In case of premature death or disability, _______________ should continue to run the operation until _______________ is ready to manage the business.
 

We will establish an advisory council to assist with major decisions. The council will include:
____ Professional advisor
____ Family members
____ Banker
____ Extension advisor
____ Academic professional
____ Family counselor
____ Other: ________________________________
 

All leaders in the organization will be informed and accountable for financial decisions and profit/loss results.
____ Yes
____ No
 

To improve leadership skills / abilities we will utilize:
____ Formal education
____ Various experiences
____ Seminars/workshops/extension programs
____ Mentors
____ Strategic alliance partners
 

Does the organization utilize regular business meetings?
____ Yes
____ No
 
 

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