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Leave a Legacy

RSS 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.

Take Time for Planning

Dec 07, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (12/03/2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday 

Corn Seedling CompressedIt’s that time of year. We’ve all heard the cliché "hope is not a plan," so now is the time to plan for next year and the next chapter of your business. The best part of planning is the creative idea-storming that precedes the written document. Follow these five hints to begin the process:

  1. Schedule a planning meeting with your management team. Before the meeting, distribute pertinent business/financial/market information that may help to inform the team and encourage productive dialogue. 
  2. Establish some planning meeting behavior guidelines. The meeting should not become a management-driven diatribe, but rather a dialogue among a mutually dependent team of professionals.

  3. Allow each participant time to act and react. Carefully consider each person’s input; as a part of the management team, their input will be valuable because they see the world differently than you. Listen and learn.

  4. Consider utilizing an outside facilitator and meeting in an offsite (neutral) location. Both of these factors promote discussion beyond the hierarchal chain of command. People, especially subordinates, need to feel safe in order to speak freely and willingly offer suggestions.

  5. Conclude the meeting with a strategy for follow-up. Divide action tasks/responsibilities across the management team, including due dates and expected levels of performance. Inclusion depends on each person’s verbal input, physical contribution, continuing support and implementation. It all begins in the planning stages.
News & Resources for You

  • Sign up for, or learn more about, Legacy Project Workshops in December:
    Dec. 8 in Columbus, Ohio
    Dec. 10 in Lansing, Michigan
    Dec. 16 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 


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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Shawn Vogt Sween - Grand Meadow, MN
It's smart to schedule a time for some future thinking. A client recently asked me whether he should make an estate plan. His existing plan was 15 years old and very out of date. He wondered when he should plan to think about it. While I gave him some questions to ponder about how urgent the situation might really be, the obvious answer is that he does need to give it some thought sooner rather than later. When we're busy, it's very easy to let planning slip down on our to-do list. Thanks for the reminder that farmers and agri-business operators need to make time for this type of work too.​
6:07 AM Dec 14th

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