Succession and Transition:Why There’s No Successin Succession andWhat to do About It

Succession planning starts in one of four places: the kitchen table, the boardroom table, the hospital emergency room, or the funeral home. The last two are not good. However, many business owners—73 percent,1 actually—don’t have a documented succession plan. They tell us that succession is about selecting one relative over another, death, and taxes, so they put off making a plan.

When public companies talk about succession, they are talking only about senior management continuation. Succession planning in privately held companies, however, is about two things: management and ownership. Both are important but they must be treated separately. Trying ...

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