Family businesses are unique and complex differing in many ways from non-family businesses. For those family businesses preparing for the next generation to transition and succeed, they need to expect all kinds of issues to arise that can cause conflict. Family members have questions and expectations: who is moving out? Moving in? Moving aside? The new generation has ideas and strategies which could very well be different from how Grandpa used to do it. Succession planning is key to this transition process. Change does not happen over night. Support from family business experts can frequently facilitate the way to a productive succession.
Mary F. Whiteside, Ph.D. is a family therapist, consultant, and mediator affiliated with the Ann Arbor Center for the Family. She is a Fellow and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Family Firm Institute and has contributed significantly to the introduction of family systems concepts to the family business field.
In her consultation practice she works with family firms to develop effective communication across and between generations. She works with Family Councils to coordinate family/business mission statements, and to set goals and guidelines for family career development, compensation, and ownership.
Richard Segal is an accomplished speaker and consultant on family business issues at Segal Consulting. Currently, Rick maintains a successful insurance practice while he consults with and trains family business stakeholders and service providers. Rick chairs the Family Business Council – an organization of family firms and service providers he founded in 1992.
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