Leave a Legacy
By: Kevin Spafford
, Legacy Project
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.
Ignoring the Elephant in the Living Room
Aug 06, 2008
Overused, yes. Clichéd, yes. Appropriate? Absolutely yes.
"The elephant in the living room" refers to a great big messy situation - a condition so big it's obvious to everyone, yet so potentially messy that no one wants to mention it. The emotional landmines associated with owning and managing a family business - be it a farm, agribusiness or factory - are like the proverbial elephant in the living room.
We know categorically that most businesses fail in the transition from one generation to the next due to factors including, but not limited to, inadequate estate planning, insufficient capitalization or failure to prepare the next generation. But years of study and professional observation teach a more immediate lesson. Many family businesses do not pass to a successive generation due, in large part to a complete lack of constructive communication. >>
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