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Family Business Forum - Developing the Next Generation

Summary: In family-owned businesses, succession plans are based on familial relationships that can complicate transitions and create problems if not managed properly. Many children see ownership of the business as an entitlement, while others may see it as an obligation. One way to help children develop into responsible and capable business owners is to see that they spend time working outside the family business to build self-confidence and overcome these feelings of entitlement or obligation. Once they have succeeded on their own they may be hired to fill a vacancy in the family business. A more formal plan for leadership can include rotation through various job assignments, involvement in corporate activities, mentoring by an external member of the board, and opportunities to run their own departments. If there are several potential successors, a decision-making process and a timetable help make the process more objective and acceptable to all involved, and those not selected are free to pursue other career options. A sidebar article offers lessons learned from family business.

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  • Topics: Career Development, Leadership, Small Business
  • Keywords: Business plans,Career development,Family life,Leadership,Management styles,Small business
  • Author: Levitt, Donald
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation