Communication is key in both the management succession and ownership succession processes. In effect, it could be said that communications is the key element in a successful succession process. With the proper communication forums the expectations of both the active and non-active family members can be effectively managed.
It seems surprising in the age of Oprah and Springer, where
people will spill the intimate details of their lives on national
televisions, to find that communication is still a major
impediment to harmony and balance for many business
families… Whatever the reason, that 1960’s cliché, “a failure to
communicate,” is probably the biggest stumbling block family
Lynch, A., All in the Family Inc., 2001.
Many family businesses avoid communicating in order to avoid conflict; however, this creates an emotionally charged environment that can be detrimental to the business. With the implementation of Family Business Meetings and Family Council Meetings the lines of communication for the family and the business are clear, defined and open, which will lead to a successful succession plan.
The first few Family Business Meetings (active family members only) may be difficult due to existing family dynamics. Walsh FBAS can facilitate the meetings until the participants are comfortable moving forward on their own or until the succession process is complete.
Walsh FBAS helps family businesses implement regular Family Business Meetings and yearly Family Council Meetings in order to create open lines of communication, which will lead to informed decision-making and will help manage the expectations of future generations.