How is it possible that, in spite of all efforts to make everything right, a succession fails?
There is a factor that likes to play a marginal factor - the 'human factor'. If one assumes that one can negotiate a business transfer on purely factual/technical level, then however one has made the calculation without the host.
A classic example
Small family business, at the age of 40 years the son takes over - furnished with all the prerequisites needed. Nonetheless the father does not really trust the son.
Severe pubertal crisis of the son, great disappointment for the father. The mistrust of the father is transferred to the employees. The son feels he is not taken seriously. This is also evident on the factual level. E.g. Interventions of the father in deals with company's suppliers which had already been made cause problems on the factual level.
So what is needed for a successful transfer of business on a human level?
- Find the common ground of similarities and differences between old and young.
- Eliminate old and current family conflicts having an impact on the company (much of those are unconscious). In this respect organizational constellations can be helpful.
- An expression of solidarity of the father towards his son.
- The son taking over the company should honor the result of consistent hard work over years (thus difficult when a child has suffered from constant business development).
- Absence of appreciation on both sides, however, may stiffle growth.
- Parents trust in their children.
- Respect in both directions - particularly when the younger generation wants to renew structures, processes, etc. within the company.
- Acceptance that the 'new generation' adops new approaches.
- Specify a date and re-define roles.
- Develop common perspectives for the delegated person. How and to which extent is the delegated person able to contribute to the company? Define the tasks clearly!.
- A clear internal and external communication.
- Conduct the transition supervisorically to be able to arrange for necessary adjustments.
- Celebrate the ritual of the hand-over