Knowledge Succession: The Real Transfer of Power

by Joe Paul

I have often heard founders of family businesses say, “I am worried that my successors will try to change the company before they really understand it.” This tells us that there is knowledge in the head of the founder that they don’t know how to get into the head of their successor. Their concern also tells us that there is more to succession than dealing only with stocks, management, and taxes. When planning for succession it is important to consider three other issues that are often neglected. They are the succession of authority, relationships and knowledge.

The succession of authority is about transferring the responsibility for final decisions. In family businesses, true authority is often kept in the older generation even after stocks and overt management responsibilities are passed on. More…

Preparing the Next Generation

Preparing the Next Generation

by Leslie Dashew

Adding Value to the Next Generation

One of the greatest concerns in families who own businesses and families of wealth is how to assure that their assets will add value to their children’s lives–not hurt them. One of the particular challenges in parenting is how to give our children the right opportunities. Too often, we equate giving with gifts, setting things up for our kids, or making opportunities for them. However, these kinds of gifts may, in fact, be taking away opportunities for their growth, not adding to them.

When children don’t learn to use their own muscles (to talk, walk, or work) these muscles atrophy in the same way other “muscles” atrophy when children don’t learn to use them on their own. For example, if children don’t gain the motivation to do for themselves, they have little practice in developing their own competence (and thus their self-esteem), and then they lack a sense of responsibility for themselves or others. So preparing our offspring includes giving them the opportunity to do as much as they can for themselves, with coaching along the way. For many families with whom we work, there is a desire to perpetuate a family legacy. More…