Is your heir killing your business??

This is an interesting blog for our profession.  Most times family succession works a way… but sometimes it backfires. This blog from Harvard Business review sheds some light on impact and sometimes unpleasant actions.  Just remember it works both ways. Sometimes the Successor needs to address issues with parents or uncles too.

hbrAs the eldest son of the family patriarch, Denis went directly from university into the family business. During his entire career, he worked in his father’s span of control, reporting directly to his dad within six years of joining the business.

Denis has always been the presumptive heir apparent for the CEO position. The apple of his father’s eye, Denis could do no wrong, including doubling a sales force while halving sales and running a new cosmetic division into the ground. Each of these career steps led to more and more responsibility befitting a rising—not a failing—executive.

Non-family employees, knowing that someday Denis would be their boss, kept their mouths shut—or exited the organization, leading to a drain on talent.

Ultimately, however, the other family owners of the business had to end this dangerous game of “chicken.” Denis’s had risen high enough in the organization that underperformance was becoming a threat to the health of the overall business.  Read more

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