Succession is an opportunity, says family business expert

The succession process in family businesses should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat, says an expert in the sector.

In a recent blog for Premierline Business Insurance, Professor Alfredo de Massis, Director of the Centre for Family Business at Lancaster University Management School, argued that disruptive innovation – innovation that creates new markets and reshapes existing ones – can go hand in hand with succession planning.

He said: “An ideal time for this form of innovation is during the succession process, when the range of goals actively pursued by members of a family business is maximised.

“This can, of course, lead to tension with an urge to smooth things over, but this tension can actually be used positively as an opportunity to change. Succession is the opportunity, not the threat.”

Although the process of succession planning can trigger change and new opportunities, it can be a challenging time for family firms, particularly when there does not seem to be a clear solution and conflicts or disputes arise as a result.

At Palmers, we are experienced in working with family businesses and can provide expert, objective advice to help family members in identifying a way forward and to structure their involvement in the business, including by creating agreements or family charters clearly setting out respective roles.

For more information about our services to family businesses, please contact BJ Chong.