Platinum’s Tom Hubler recently moderated a panel discussion about changes in a succession plan between the owner and president of King Technology, a Hopkins-based manufacturer, in the midst of the current pandemic.
Key take-away advice from the family owner and non-family successor was helpful for other family businesses:
- Communication, communication, and communication — is needed, especially around values between the owner(dad) and the non-family president.
- Address and resolve differences through discussion of values versus “who's right or wrong.”
- Treat the next generation as employees rather than as family members.
- Make it clear that the non-family president is in charge of the professional development of the next generation, including their compensation.
- Consistency, consistency and consistency — between the values and messages from the owner(dad) and the non-family president.
- Teach the next generation that this is more than a job — it's your responsibility to perpetuate the values and legacy of the family and legacy of the previous generation.
- Gradually teach the next generation what it means to be owners.
- Be grateful to the employees, in every instance, for their support and commitment to the family and company.
For questions or comments, email Tom.