How does the succession planning conversation start? It can start any number of ways - the next generation having the desire to create their future, the retiring generation looking to retire.
The historical approach has been to construct a succession conversation around asset allocations and estate planning when really, it is much broader. The later conversations have been about transferring management from one generation to the next including the accumulated knowledge from the preceding generation
Is there another pathway? What if we focused on highlighting success within succession?
Succession is a normal conversation. As one client said to me “does this ever end?” - no it doesn’t, and nor should it.
Succession and estate planning in a family farming business is a complex juggling of the needs and wants of the “retiring” generation, the new farmer, their partners and often siblings of the new farmers who will not be farming in the future. In addition to this there is generally a long multi-generational family history, family members at different ages and stages, a large asset with low and variable return, and a “spoonful of emotional baggage” just to increase the complexity.
What about if we consider the following:
A changing farming environment
New technology means new skills
Increasing risk and volatility means new and emerging opportunities
If we focused on highlighting the above opportunities and success within succession, we could create a process that enables:
A dynamic and growing business
An environment that creates achievement
This process can be delivered through creating an advisory board that facilitates both a high-level oversight and a deep dive, as well as accountability. Over my time working in Ag consulting, chairing family boards is one of the highest valued services I can provide to my clients. In the coming weeks I will discuss chairing family boards further, but in the meantime if you’re interested to know more get in touch.