Over almost 30 years, the founder of a company has advanced it to take a leading market position in his market segment in Germany and key European markets with innovative, technically cutting-edge products. A son and a daughter from his first marriage today have successful careers outside the company. He lives with his second wife. The couple have a son, who has successfully completed a technical degree, and a daughter, who is studying economics.
Experience has shown that a successful or failed company succession begins with prospects for the future life of the departing company owner. It is particularly difficult to stand down if the new life is not yet fulfilling or bearing fruit.
In an atmosphere of trust, my clients ask themselves challenging questions about their new phase of life in order to structure and analyse their personal situation. The consultant’s outside view broadens their own perspective. Together, we go through the steps of the succession process and develop situation-specific solutions – from the company owner’s new role, the ideal succession profile and the evaluation of the potential of possible successors through to induction during the transfer of responsibility.
In parallel, clients entrust me with the task of substantiating, with the members of the next generation, their expectations, hopes and fears with a view to the succession and their own lives.
For a business succession to be successful, a clearly defined transfer target, a structured time frame and a well-organised execution of the whole procedure are essential. However, in family or owner-run businesses, these processes, in most cases, have not been properly established. This results in a nebulous situation, often characterised by taboos and voicelessness, which may have an unsettling if not paralysing effect on the management and/or the business family.
Work with family businesses and business families is diverse and challenging. At the same time, it is particularly rewarding for me both on a personal level and in terms of substance. In these processes, my interdisciplinary linking up of business and psychological issues is a help. In the consulting sessions, my clients benefit from my skills and experience in operational management and staff responsibility in one of Germany’s largest family-owned enterprises. As an operationally active partner for many years, I am familiar with the specific circumstances of a family business and the dynamics within the family from my own personal experience.