"A generation that ignores history has no past - and is without a future."
Robert Anson Heinlein
Family succession is a highly critical moment for businesses, it can be seen as a development opportunity or it can turn into a nightmare. It should also be considered that the level of competition in the markets is now much greater than in the past and changes which could once take years, can now occur much faster and more frequently. Today, the new levers are therefore operating in much more turbulent markets and with completely different situations than the previous; As a result, appropriate tools are needed to compete successfully.
The inclusion of a new family figure in the company cannot, therefore, be seen as a "simple and risk-free" operation, but must instead be considered as a real project.
Unfortunately, we often see the inclusion of family figures in the company, randomly. This can help exacerbate conflicting situations between parents and children that lead the company into a crisis or gridlock. There are also situations in which the family succession arises as a consequence of an unexpected and unpredictable event. In any case, the planning of the career path of successors must always be evaluated in the broader framework represented by the strategic design for the whole company, from which a document called Business Plan or Strategic Plan should be produced. The goal is to illustrate how the business planning process be used in the context of family succession.
Having a company document that clearly defines the objectives and responsibilities of each individual during the passing the baton, is of fundamental importance for a shared and successful roadmap, on which to measure the performances and responsibilities, of all the "actors".
The use of the planning methodology and the subsequent drafting of the Business Plan is a system that allows the company to outline its future and, at the same time, to plan the inclusion and/or growth of the new generation, to ensure family continuity in the ownership and management of the company.
It is a rather complex process that requires the presence of qualified external resources (professional Interim Managers), who can perform both the task of drafting the Strategic Plan and the role of "tutor" or "master" for the new generation. However, this role requires the full cooperation of the entrepreneur whose role is crucial to the success of the project. Only by creating a close-knit team can the generational replacement mission be successfully carried out.
Extract from the book “Come gestire il passaggio generazionale nelle PMI italiane”, by Gian Andrea Oberegelsbacher & Leading Network, published by WKI (Ipsoa) 2017