Q&A Corner: Are my children ready to take over? What is the right lead time to plan my transition?
April 16, 2018
How do I know my children are ready for the responsibility of running the company?
It can be challenging to assess ones own children especially when it comes to specific business talent. It’s often helpful to first map out specific required competencies and attributes needed to succeed in the role. This exercise should be driven by the future business strategy vs. historically where the company has been. The “Go Forward” strategy is critical for the business and for truly identifying the role. The next generation should also play a part in this process – invite them to articulate where their passions lie and self assess their own skills. You may use various assessment tools and 360 reviews to round out the full evaluation process. Once you’ve identified the strategy and completed the full assessment (just like you would for any candidate), most decision makers are better able to get a sense if the match is indeed the right one.
What do you recommend as an appropriate lead time to start the leadership transition planning process?
Transitions often fail when goals of the business aren’t planned out well in advance. Advanced planning is key and the longer the planning period the better. Exceptional Leaders International recommends to start planning the transition process at least a year and as many as 3 to 5 years ahead of any major changes made. This timeframe should provide an appropriate trajectory to the next generation or leave sufficient time to bring in leadership from outside the family.
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