Transferring assets can be one of the easiest parts of a succession plan. A bigger challenge is transferring management, knowledge and business acumen.
“The economic reality is that for your business to succeed and continue successfully beyond you, management must learn, adapt and continuously improve at a rate set by the leading edge of the competition, not your comfort zone,” says Danny Klinefelter, professor and Extension economist at Texas A&M.
How can you prepare your successor and step down from being the manager? Klinefelter says families should follow these steps.
- An assessment of the needs of the business, not just for now, but for the future. What will this person have to become?
- An objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the current CEO.
- An objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the successor.
- Open, honest and mature communication
- The creation of a management development plan that addresses experience, responsibility, training and honest/objective evaluation and feedback.
- Planned experience, exposure and networking opportunities for the successor, not just outside the business, but also outside the industry.
- Development of a common vision for the business
- An ongoing delegation of responsibility and authority, with a specific timeline
- Involvement of the successor in the development of the business plan and the strategic decision making process
- Implementation of a plan for what the current CEO is going to do next.
Jumpstart Your Succession Plan
Want to learn more? Hear Klinefelter and other members of the Farm Journal Legacy Project Advisory Team at the 2016 Legacy Conference. Register now!