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Supporting company succession

In owner-run companies, the success of the company is often heavily dependent on individual management personalities, their ideas and know-how. The future of a company without an established succession plan becomes a sensitive and critical issue once the managing director approaches retirement age or is no longer able to run the business for health reasons.

Effects of uncertain succession

Business owners are often unaware of the actual effects and uncertainties among the staff, as hardly anyone would dare broach such a sensitive topic within the company.

Who are potential successors?

In many cases, there are several potential successors within a family. If no one in the family is prepared or an internal family succession still needs time, an external successor should also be considered as a viable option. In any case, succession planning is something that needs to be actively approached.

An unclear situation generally has negative effects

The designated successor already works at the company, but there is no set date for him or her to take over. And no written agreement. No clarity how the tasks will be distributed in the future to prepare for a successor. No plans on how to establish a balance between the traditional and the new. In a worst case scenario, the potential successor may be internally discredited before he or she can actually take the reins of the company.

Familial and emotional ties make it difficult to plan the succession oneself

It’s no wonder that succession planning is held up in so many companies. After all, the issue is doubly emotionally charged – on the one hand the business owner has a close emotional connection to his or her company/life’s work and suddenly needs a healthy distance in order to make these arrangements, and on the other hand family and emotional ties can also get in the way, because the owner wants to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.

A neutral outside view and a realistic assessment helps

As interim managers with a neutral outside view, we can work with all the stakeholders to develop a clearly structured company succession plan and help implement it in an orderly fashion.

We approach sensitive situations like these with the necessary empathy and finesse.

What’s important to us:

  • that a company’s positive values are sustained, adapted to be viable for the future and not merely retained for the sake of tradition.
  • that market changes, new ideas and new technologies are taken into account. They can build on and strengthen the underlying success factors.
  • that successors are prepared thoroughly, with a concrete succession plan that gives them the opportunity to grow and prove themselves. This also helps boost their self-confidence.
  • and that the succession also leaves room to break new ground – because every manager has different leadership abilities and requirements that reflect the current zeitgeist – providing opportunities that need to be taken advantage of!

What is our approach?

An interim manager engages intensively with the company culture. What is good for the company? How can a smooth transition be made from one generation of entrepreneurs to the next?

  • Possible assumption of an operative task within the company – e.g. within the framework of a change project. The interim manager is closely involved in the day-to-day business, in close touch with managers, employees, customers and suppliers. With a finger on the pulse of the company. This is important for a realistic and comprehensive assessment of the situation.
  • We support the business owner in introducing the right steps. Resolving important questions: Which family member is the right candidate? When is the right time? How long should the owner stay at the company?
  • Close cooperation with the designated successor(s): How can the successor develop their own profile in the company? How does team building work? What does active management mean? How important is trust? We actively exemplify leadership in these areas.
  • Our goal is to set up the company succession in such a way that your company can successfully weather this transition.
  • In a family company, it is particularly important for us that the family members continue to treat each other with respect, even after the company succession has been completed.

We are committed to ensuring that your life’s work has a stable and healthy future!

Version: 05/03/2020

If you are interested in more information about this topic.

Our attention is completely with our customers, so we are looking forward to a first contact by e-mail.

Our attention is completely with our customers, so we are looking forward to a first contact by e-mail.

Cooperation keeps us strong
Thomas Pluch is a member of:
2020 Pluch Interim Management for SMEs | medium-sized companies | family business
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