Tips for involving non-family stakeholders in succession planning

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Business Formation & Planning

Succession planning advice often revolves around family issues and dynamics, but for many businesses, stakeholders outside of the family may also come into play. This is particularly true for those who have non-family members in executive positions within their companies, such as the chief financial officer or vice president of sales. These individuals can be valuable sources of information; however, they can also add some conflict or chaos in a succession planning process. Here are some tips for involving executors outside of the family in the succession planning process: 

  • Set boundaries around communication: How should the executives interact with family stakeholders, both in the planning and execution of the succession plan? How will miscommunications be prevented? Setting a clear communication plan in advance can help everyone understand how best to interact during the process. 
  • Leverage their knowledge and experience: People inside the company can be valuable sources of information, especially when it comes to a succession plan involving family who are less involved in the business. They may have some biases stemming from their interest in keeping their jobs or determining the future of the company, but many will have unmatched experience and insight worth leveraging.  
  • Limit uncertainty: When people feel threatened or uncertain, they may act in less-than-ideal ways. It is therefore better to let non-family executives know what to expect well in advance so they can act in cooperation rather than out of fear. 

Succession planning is most successful when everyone involved has full information at hand. Non-family executives can be an excellent source of information and can make the plan a smooth one. However, without proper communication or clarity, they could also threaten the process. Setting the right boundaries and working with an experienced Oregon lawyer to build a legally sound succession plan can be key to a smooth transition into the future.