Proven Strategies for Generational Transition in Family Business
Generational transitions can be messy, even at times ugly. Successful ones are rare. Over 65% of middle market business owners express a desire, during their lifetimes, to transfer their companies to the next generation. However, it has been estimated that (on average) fewer than 20% succeed in doing so. The major challenge is to reach consensus among the shareholders and transitioning generations. Every family business is different and there is no “silver bullet” formula, but we do know what strategies work best. It is important to remember (and often impossible to forget) that the key stakeholders involved are still family members, and emotions can blind us from the proper path forward.
This session will address the most important factors and questions to consider in order to assure a successful generational transition, such as:
- Why is it so hard to transition the family business?
- How do we prepare the family business to transition more effectively?
- What are the steps for a successful transition, regardless of generation?
- The “Two Cs” of selecting a leader.
- The importance of developing competency, chemistry and versatility.
- Why it is so difficult for the incumbent to let go, and what you can do about it.
- Case discussions and a live presentation from a family business with a successful transition story.
About Our Speaker: David Ransburg
David Ransburg, a consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. has a rare combination of expertise in both business and psychology. He brings strong relationship skills, deep business knowledge, and broad-based experience in executive assessment, coaching, and group facilitation to his family enterprise engagements.
With over a dozen years of business experience in industries such as real estate, financial services, marketing, and manufacturing, he is adept at strategic as well as financial analysis of business opportunities. Additionally, David has been formally trained in interpersonal relationships and systems theory to motivate individuals, resolve intra-organizational conflict, and build an effective team-oriented organization.
David received a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University.
Additionally, David has served on the faculty of Kellogg’s “New Leadership for the Family Enterprise” course as well as Loyola University’s Family Business Next Generation Leadership Institute. He was formerly a staff therapist at the renowned Family Institute at Northwestern University.
He is co-author of a research article on family business succession and is a frequent speaker who is known for his energetic and engaging style.
Family Business Center Presenter: Chad Unruh, CEO - MAC Construction
Chad will discuss the recent transition of MAC Construction to himself and his brother Travis Unruh, President.
MAC Construction began as a small company in the early 1980's, with site development and excavation representing the majority of their work. Under the ownership of the husband-and-wife team Victor and Jeannie Unruh, MAC began to successfully bid for government contracts, expanding the company's capabilities to include concrete construction, building foundation, flat work, utilities, highway and bridge construction.
MAC continues its steady growth with a second generation of management. The transition of leadership and ownership from Victor and Jeannie to their two sons required a tremendous amount of focus and intentional planning. Travis and Chad now own a majority of the company and since 2011 have been in control of day to day operations as President and CEO, respectively. Under their leadership MAC has grown over 10% for each of the last two years.
Chad graduated from Purdue with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He participated in an internship program with a mechanical contractor and has been employed full-time with MAC since 2001. He came up through the ranks starting as foreman, then superintendent, and ultimately assumed leadership over major portions of the company. Chad has overseen the construction and rehabilitation of several major treatment plants and pump stations, asphalt mix production and pavement, along with sitework and utilities projects. Chad volunteers as an Angel Flight Pilot.
Below are links to three interesting articles that relate to our topic:
Do's and Don'ts for Bringing the Next Generation into the Family Business
When Family Businesses Bungle Succession Planning
by Meg Cadoux Hirshberg
Preparing A Family Business for the Next Generation
by Karen Klein
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