Success in succession

Success in succession

The next generation taking over the family business

Situation

The son of the founder was taking over the family business.

To grow the company, he also took on a private equity partner. The private equity firm recommended me as a sounding board to the CEO.

Context

The new CEO was the oldest son and best equipped to take over the business with the skillset, knowledge and passion. He also had a vision and the mindset to get there. Some of the senior executives had been with the company for some time – they had strong relationships with the father and were used to his way of doing business. A big challenge was enabling them to shift their mindset to a new way of doing business and genuinely respecting the new CEO, an individual they had known since he was a boy. In some ways, they saw him as younger and, therefore, less experienced than them.

Approach

  • Conducted one-to-one sessions with the Senior Executive team to understand their background and assess their capabilities and mindset.
  • Identified and addressed potential threats related to attrition and politicking
  • Working with the CEO, enabled him to think through workarounds and develop the right strategies
  • Became a trusted advisor to discuss deeper family dynamics, challenges, aspirations and legacy.

Why it matters

Change can be difficult, especially when it’s related to a person’s life work. Having the time, space and insight to understand the different factors at play, what truly matters and finding a way forward can make all the difference.

Get in touch

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CASE STUDY

EMERGING MARKETS:

Navigating a clash between corporate governance and local customs

 

CHALLENGE

A multinational company operating in emerging markets discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it before the new accounting cycle. With strong corporate governance rules immediate dismissal seemed to be the natural decision. However, a board member knew this was out of character and not the norm from one of their best and longest standing employees. They asked me to look into it.

 

INSIGHT

Understanding local customs was the key to resolution.

Traditionally, the village elders were responsible for members of the community, helping where and when needed. Time and technology may have moved on, but customs and traditions tend to remain. The company had built a great deal of trust in the region and within the community. What no-one realised was the company’s reputation in effect made this individual a modern day ‘elder’. Hence, when asked for help, it was his duty to do so. In effect, the company’s success brought unintended consequences and potentially nasty repercussions for local hires.

So how could the company navigate its commitment to building local economies while ensuring adherence to strict governance practices?

 

SOLUTION & OUTCOME

  • Investigated if anyone else was being asked to assist members of the community and themes
  • Created a fund with guidelines on how it was to be used
  • Developed an innovation challenge to find more sustainable solutions
  • Adjusted how the company found and integrated local talent

CASE STUDY

EMERGING MARKETS: Navigating a clash between corporate governance and local customs   CHALLENGE A multinational company operating in emerging markets discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it...

CASE STUDY

  WHEN INVESTORS COME IN Tackling transition and the growing pains of scaling a business CHALLENGE A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. There was low morale, diminished team spirit, lack of personal performance, all ultimately impacting results. INSIGHTS...

CASE STUDY

  MILLENNIAL LEADER: Unmotivated and difficult to manage?   CHALLENGE A team transformation process with people from various backgrounds and ages. One person, in particular, was a millennial in a leadership position. He was perceived as difficult to manage by his...

CASE STUDY

ESTATE PLANNING Wealth transition between generations   CHALLENGE An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family...

CASE STUDY

WHEN INVESTORS COME IN

Tackling transition and the growing pains of scaling a business

CHALLENGE

A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. There was low morale, diminished team spirit, lack of personal performance, all ultimately impacting results.

INSIGHTS

The people involved from the inception of the company were still with the organisation and were experiencing a change in culture, direction and method of working. The speed and rate of change was further amplified with additional acquisitions that needed to be merged with the business. The core team was under increasing amounts of pressure to provide stopgap solutions whilst other parts of the business were integrated. They were feeling undervalued and unrecognised.

SOLUTION & OUTCOME

Conducted individual and group sessions:

  • Identified individual core drivers, strengths, aspirations and areas they wanted to develop
  • Personal reflection on events and interactions – perception, reaction and subsequent influence on relationships with their colleagues
  • Awareness and adjustment of personal behaviour and communication to improve relationships with colleagues
  • Exploration and development of ways to tackle rifts with colleagues (e.g. identifies areas in which they could be each other’s mentors and role models, playing off each other’s strengths)
  • Reviewed compensation structure: what got measured, what got rewarded and how they felt about it
  • Reviewed roles and individuals in those roles
  • Realignment of roles with functions playing to strengths and areas of competence as opposed to titles due to length of service

Resulted in:

  • A team consisting of committed, competent and collaborative individuals operating in a more positive environment, with less friction and positive results.
  • A more collegiate and collaborative work environment, with improved communication, transparency and higher levels of trust
  • A compensation structure aligned with deliverables, contribution and value-add
  • Realising they were not in the right role or company, some team members resigned – some went on to become founders of their own startup

CASE STUDY

EMERGING MARKETS: Navigating a clash between corporate governance and local customs   CHALLENGE A multinational company operating in emerging markets discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it...

CASE STUDY

  WHEN INVESTORS COME IN Tackling transition and the growing pains of scaling a business CHALLENGE A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. There was low morale, diminished team spirit, lack of personal performance, all ultimately impacting results. INSIGHTS...

CASE STUDY

  MILLENNIAL LEADER: Unmotivated and difficult to manage?   CHALLENGE A team transformation process with people from various backgrounds and ages. One person, in particular, was a millennial in a leadership position. He was perceived as difficult to manage by his...

CASE STUDY

ESTATE PLANNING Wealth transition between generations   CHALLENGE An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family...

CASE STUDY

SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION The next generation taking over the family business CHALLENGE A nextgen was taking over the family business. To grow the business he also took on a private equity partner. The private equity firm recommended me as a sounding board to the CEO....

CASE STUDY

THE RIGHT PERSON TO LEAD? Taking a closer look at people's credentials. CHALLENGE The client needed to find a Managing Director for their business in an emerging market. A potential candidate had been recommended. I was asked to profile him. INSIGHT On paper, the...

CASE STUDY

MILLENNIAL LEADER:

Unmotivated and difficult to manage?

 

CHALLENGE

A team transformation process with people from various backgrounds and ages. One person, in particular, was a millennial in a leadership position. He was perceived as difficult to manage by his boss, causing friction and frustration.

Was asked to fix it. In the process discovered an inspiring story and a great example of an unrecognised strength, poorly channelled could lead to misunderstandings and overlooked talents. Here’s the story of Mr X.

INSIGHT

Mr X has a condition that as a young boy, stopped him from attending school. Left to study on his own and at his own pace, Mr X passed all his exams ahead of his peers.

When he faced a challenge, got stuck or his will began to waiver, it was gentle words of encouragement from his mother that strengthened his resolve. He didn’t have to be cajoled into studying. He never had to be badgered by anyone or be told what he needed to do. He had the drive, determination and discipline to go it on his own.

However, not wanting to be perceived as weak and somewhat ashamed of his condition, he never shared this with anyone, let alone his bosses or colleagues at work.

SOLUTION & OUTCOME

Made him feel safe enough to open up to share the story. Enabled help him to reflect and realise how his condition had shaped him – his outlook, decisions and actions such as:

  • He has an innate hunger to learn and is committed to improving himself
  • His ability to overcome his illness was driving his inability to tolerate excuses from others
  • Not having had teachers or adults tell him what to do was making him impervious to instructions from ‘bosses.’

He became aware of how something he was embarrassed about, could be his greatest strength – if channelled in the right way. With a refreshed view and understanding of himself, he felt confident to share more about himself and worked on stopping the cycle of frustration with himself and others.

Today he is the founder of a startup.

His story has inspired many companies and individuals to be more aware of ‘inner stories’, and find hidden strengths.

CASE STUDY

EMERGING MARKETS: Navigating a clash between corporate governance and local customs   CHALLENGE A multinational company operating in emerging markets discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it...

CASE STUDY

  WHEN INVESTORS COME IN Tackling transition and the growing pains of scaling a business CHALLENGE A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. There was low morale, diminished team spirit, lack of personal performance, all ultimately impacting results. INSIGHTS...

CASE STUDY

  MILLENNIAL LEADER: Unmotivated and difficult to manage?   CHALLENGE A team transformation process with people from various backgrounds and ages. One person, in particular, was a millennial in a leadership position. He was perceived as difficult to manage by his...

CASE STUDY

ESTATE PLANNING Wealth transition between generations   CHALLENGE An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family...

CASE STUDY

SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION The next generation taking over the family business CHALLENGE A nextgen was taking over the family business. To grow the business he also took on a private equity partner. The private equity firm recommended me as a sounding board to the CEO....

CASE STUDY

THE RIGHT PERSON TO LEAD? Taking a closer look at people's credentials. CHALLENGE The client needed to find a Managing Director for their business in an emerging market. A potential candidate had been recommended. I was asked to profile him. INSIGHT On paper, the...

CASE STUDY

ESTATE PLANNING

Wealth transition between generations

 

CHALLENGE

An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family friction. Was asked to look at the structure in place, how to ensure success in succession and safeguard the cohesion of the family.

INSIGHT

The business was set up by the grandfather who had two children – a son and a daughter. Believing only boys should be in business, he spent more time with his son who then took over the company. The daughter herself had three sons, all of whom were very close to the grandfather when he was alive. Their mottos was a saying instilled in them by their grandfather.

The three grandsons were all married with children. By observing family dynamics and conducting one-to-one sessions, the cause of family friction became apparent, along with a pathway to create cohesion.

SOLUTION & OUTCOME

Many underlying issues arose, including:

  • Family members and their spouses holding different views on whether they are owners vs stewards of the wealth
  • Different attitudes and beliefs around money (e.g. one family member believed the middle class were happier and was on a mission to spend the wealth)
  • Different aims on how much wealth to leave the next generation

Worked with individual family members to:

  • Define their values, ambitions, and what legacy looks like for them
  • Explored potential avenues to see which would be the best fit
  • Brought the family together to share common values and develop a shared family philosophy
  • Discussed potential avenues raised during one-to-ones
  • Leveraging the family philosophy and overlapping values, reevaluated the structure and rules around the trust.
  • Developed a framework for decision making and conflict resolution that reflected the family values and philosophy.
  • Developed a path forward that was owned by all family members, not imposed.

Ultimately the family realised that beyond the financial wealth, it is the goodwill of the family name, its lineage and heritage that is their greatest asset.

CASE STUDY

EMERGING MARKETS: Navigating a clash between corporate governance and local customs   CHALLENGE A multinational company operating in emerging markets discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it...

CASE STUDY

  WHEN INVESTORS COME IN Tackling transition and the growing pains of scaling a business CHALLENGE A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. There was low morale, diminished team spirit, lack of personal performance, all ultimately impacting results. INSIGHTS...

CASE STUDY

  MILLENNIAL LEADER: Unmotivated and difficult to manage?   CHALLENGE A team transformation process with people from various backgrounds and ages. One person, in particular, was a millennial in a leadership position. He was perceived as difficult to manage by his...

CASE STUDY

ESTATE PLANNING Wealth transition between generations   CHALLENGE An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family...

CASE STUDY

SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION The next generation taking over the family business CHALLENGE A nextgen was taking over the family business. To grow the business he also took on a private equity partner. The private equity firm recommended me as a sounding board to the CEO....

CASE STUDY

THE RIGHT PERSON TO LEAD? Taking a closer look at people's credentials. CHALLENGE The client needed to find a Managing Director for their business in an emerging market. A potential candidate had been recommended. I was asked to profile him. INSIGHT On paper, the...

CASE STUDY

SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION

The next generation taking over the family business

CHALLENGE

A nextgen was taking over the family business. To grow the business he also took on a private equity partner. The private equity firm recommended me as a sounding board to the CEO.

INSIGHTS

The new CEO was the oldest son and best equipped to take over the business, with the skillset, knowledge and passion. He also had a vision and the mindset to get there. Some of the senior executives had been with the company for some time. They had strong relationships with the father and used to his way of doing business. A big challenge was enabling them to have a shift in mindset to a new way of doing business and genuinely respecting the new CEO, an individual they had known since he was a boy, and in some ways still fixed on seeing him as younger and therefore less experienced than them. SOLUTION & OUTCOME
  • Conducted one-to-one sessions with the Senior Executive team to understand their background and assess their capabilities and mindset.
  • Identified potential threats related to attrition and politicking
  • Working with the CEO, enabled him to think through workarounds and develop the right strategies
  • Taken in as a trusted advisor to discuss deeper family dynamics, challenges, aspirations and legacy

CASE STUDY

EMERGING MARKETS: Navigating a clash between corporate governance and local customs   CHALLENGE A multinational company operating in emerging markets discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it...

CASE STUDY

  WHEN INVESTORS COME IN Tackling transition and the growing pains of scaling a business CHALLENGE A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. There was low morale, diminished team spirit, lack of personal performance, all ultimately impacting results. INSIGHTS...

CASE STUDY

  MILLENNIAL LEADER: Unmotivated and difficult to manage?   CHALLENGE A team transformation process with people from various backgrounds and ages. One person, in particular, was a millennial in a leadership position. He was perceived as difficult to manage by his...

CASE STUDY

ESTATE PLANNING Wealth transition between generations   CHALLENGE An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family...

CASE STUDY

SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION The next generation taking over the family business CHALLENGE A nextgen was taking over the family business. To grow the business he also took on a private equity partner. The private equity firm recommended me as a sounding board to the CEO....

CASE STUDY

THE RIGHT PERSON TO LEAD? Taking a closer look at people's credentials. CHALLENGE The client needed to find a Managing Director for their business in an emerging market. A potential candidate had been recommended. I was asked to profile him. INSIGHT On paper, the...