I attended our course on Family Systems – part of our Facilitator 101 series – on Monday. One of the comments made by presenter Val Monk had to do with “professionalizing” your business. It really struck a note with something that the Fuller family said earlier this month. During the question and answer period at our annual Signature Event, the Fullers were asked if they would be bringing the next generation into the business. I think Stan answered it best when he told the crowd that the situation is different now from when he and the rest of his brothers entered the business. Back then, a mistake was costly, but could still be recovered from fairly easily. A mistake now can cost tens of millions of dollars – a lot of responsibility and stress for someone just learning the business.
If the family decides to pass on their business to the next generation they will need to look at options to maintain a highly skilled and experienced management team. What about you? Is your next generation ready to take over? Even though they haven’t had the chance to gain experiences while the company was small? Do you have key skill sets missing that you need someone from outside the family to fill? How do you attract and retain key non-family employees when they know that they can never move past a certain level?