LancasterThriving_WinterSpring2017 - 20

BUSINESS:
SUCCESSION PLANNING

Simpson: In our business a succession plan can easily
take between 10 to 15 years. The period of analysis and
decision making can take three to five years and the
transition of ownership from five to 10 years.
6. Any other advice that you would like to share
about the succession planning process?
Cargas: Employee ownership is like family business
where we consider all employees as family members.
Relatives that do not work in the business are, for the
purposes of business, not part of the family. This results
in a very engaged team of employee owners.
Manners: Succession is not a do it yourself process.
We had a lot of formal and informal help along the way.
Also, the leadership transition works best if the exiting
leaders invest the time to share their knowledge and
experience with the new team.
Simpson: Don't look at succession planning as an
impulse buy. Identify potential candidates and listen
closely to your team when they talk about your
candidate(s). Put candidates in difficult situations and
allow them to fail. They need to know how to lose so
they can appreciate winning.
BY MICHAEL MITCHELL,
Executive Director, The High Center
Contact Michael at mitchellm@etown.edu

20 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Winter/Spring2017

WHAT LESSONS CAN WE LEARN
FROM THESE THREE SUCCESSFUL
COMPANIES?

Begin succession planning now
Succession planning can be a long process and the earlier
you start the more options you will have. These companies
took several years for initial discussion and development
of their succession framework and documentation.
Another several years were needed to successfully
transfer leadership and ownership. These companies have
concluded that succession planning needs to be a regular
part of their strategic planning process.
Consider both leadership and ownership succession
All the companies interviewed clearly addressed the unique
aspects of both the leadership and ownership succession
process. They also stressed the need to consider both
planned and unplanned succession.
Talk with other businesses
Begin by reaching out to other businesses that are
successfully navigating the succession journey. These
businesses can be a great source of knowledge, inspiration
and support.
Use your trusted advisers
Succession planning consultants can be a cost-effective way
to help you consider succession options, develop a plan
of action and hold you accountable to stick to your plan.
Your board of directors, attorney, accountant and financial
advisors are also important partners for the journey. LT


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