I have two clients where the founders are struggling with passing the torch to the next generation.
In one case, the founder was ready to pass the torch: he had worked leading the business for close to 30 years, had brought two of his three children into the business at a relatively early age and knew what he wanted to do after he sold the business. We helped him develop his kids and did reviewed the MOU for the transfer (the legalized transfer was done by the lawyers after the fact), so this transfer went smoothly.
In the other case, we’re somewhat stuck on what one child will do after assuming the Presidency. He will run the company differently, but all the other kids agree that he should run the company, since he’s been the operating head for the last couple of years. The problem is the founder is having a hard time accepting that there might be more than one way to run his business. And one division has been somewhat neglected, but we’ve got a plan to fix it. We’ve proposed a unique stock ownership structure where at least two of the kids, and the founder, have to agree on a major decision. And it’s actually in the buy/sell that the company has to remain in Solutions Forum.
The answer, in our opinion, is to leap off the bridge, go ahead with the buy/sell and see how it works.
Nothing is irreversible.
Pass the torch!