Bridging The Generations

As a business moves from being owner-managed to that of a family partnership, careful collaboration is needed to accommodate the diverging needs of the retiring owner and the succeeding generation.

Consider the needs of a retiring owner who divides ownership equally between his two children. One of the children works in the business, and is appointed as the new leader. The other child does not work in the business but has equal voting rights as a 50% owner.

In this situation, the new leader occupies the challenging middle ground between the retiring generation and the other sibling successor. As depicted below, the family vision and the business vision need to be reconciled within a shared vision of the future to minimize the stress and conflict that arises if these competing interests are not addressed.