Succession Planning

Succession Planning

by Adriane B. Miller

Small, closely-held companies must confront this thorny issue.

John R. Beever doesn’t know how his business would function if he fell out of an airplane today–but he’s prodding his family and key managers to discuss it.

Mr. Beever, 59, runs family-owned John Dittmar & Sons, Inc., a Baltimore custom woodwork manufacturer that his great-grandfather started in 1876.

But discussing the future raises difficult questions. Mr. Beever’s two sons, Geoffrey and John C. are in their 30s and vice presidents of the firm. Both are enthusiastic about the business, both are bright. Both want to succeed their father. More…

Building the Family Business “Team”

Building the Family Business “Team”
Family Ties Newsletter
November 2001

By Michael Wilkes, MBA, CBC, Senior Leadership Consultant
Developing an effective team is a major challenge for any business. Yet, it can be especially challenging for a family business since members of your team frequently wear a number of family and business related “hats”. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for developing a productive team, but rather an overall guide to the hard work that is required.

To start, you might want to view your team as an “energy source” that team members are responsible for harnessing and directing. The team is responsible for three primary tasks in harnessing this energy – establishing Purpose, Partnership, and Process. Within each of these tasks the team must assure there is Clarity, Capability, and Commitment.

Purpose

The first task is to establish a clear sense of purpose. The team will not be productive unless there is a purpose that energizes its members and helps direct their energy into achieving that mission. Members must also develop strategies that will guide their activities. They must ask what things should be done and what things they should stop doing in order to effectively achieve the team’s purpose. More…