Question: I’m the CFO at a small, privately held manufacturing company, founded in the 1960s. The company’s current owners are second-generation owners, children of the founder. None of the owners’ children are involved in the business, so there will be no third-generation owners, at least I don’t think there will be. The owners aren’t getting any younger and the issue of succession becomes a bigger concern with each passing year. I’m concerned there is a reluctance to confront this situation. While we’ve brought in some younger talent to balance the old guard, I would like to see greater urgency about the future and what is necessary to build on our success rather than rest on it. Inevitably, it seems to me that the owners need to share their game plan so that the company’s leaders can begin the transition toward the next phase of the company. What are your thoughts?
Answer: Navigating our way through the constant changes that we experience in today’s business environment can perhaps feel like navigating whitewater rapids.
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