Exchange rate future: How to pass your company safely into new hands

21. June 2024 – Mandy Weinand

Succession planning in the company: A guide to generational change and business takeover

The generational change in companies is a critical moment that can determine the future stability and success of the company. Careful succession planning is therefore of crucial importance.

  • But what do you need to look out for?
  • When is the right time for a succession plan?
  • And what different solutions are there?

Why is a succession plan important for the future of the company?

Succession planning in a company is essential to ensure the continued existence and further development of the company. Without well-thought-out succession planning, there is a risk of loss of knowledge, organizational inconsistencies and even bankruptcy. It is also important to preserve the company values and corporate culture and pass them on to the next generation.

Generation change with foresight: when is the right time for succession planning?

One of the most important questions is when is the right time to plan and implement the succession. Ideally, planning should start early, at least five to ten years before the planned transition. This gives everyone involved enough time to prepare for the process and ensure that all necessary measures can be taken.

New leadership, old spirit: Succession planning with heart and mind

What to look out for?

1. strategic planning

A clear and detailed plan is essential. This should include objectives, timescales and the roles of all stakeholders. It is important to consider both short-term and long-term goals and ensure that the transition phase runs smoothly.

2. employee involvement

Employees should be involved in the process at an early stage. This creates trust and transparency and allows concerns and suggestions to be taken into account. Open communication is the key to a successful succession plan.

3. selection of the successor

Choosing the right successor is crucial. This can be a family member, an internal employee or an external candidate. The successor should have the necessary skills, experience and willingness to take on the responsibility.

4. financial and legal aspects

Comprehensive financial and legal planning is essential. This includes the valuation of the business, the settlement of inheritance and gift taxes and the preparation of legal documents such as contracts and wills.

5. training and support for the successor

The successor should be given sufficient time and support to familiarize themselves with their new role. This can be done through mentoring, training and the gradual assumption of responsibilities.

Mastering the company handover: How to find the perfect successor

1. family-internal succession

This solution is often found in family businesses. It has the advantage that the company values and culture are retained. However, it can also lead to family conflicts if several family members make claims.

2. internal succession

An internal employee is selected as successor. This has the advantage that the successor is already familiar with the company and its processes. A disadvantage could be that any necessary new impulses from outside are missing.

3. external succession

An external successor brings a breath of fresh air and new perspectives to the company. This can be particularly advantageous if the company is facing major challenges or is in a state of upheaval. However, the integration of an external successor may require more time and resources.

4. management buy-out (MBO)

In an MBO, existing managers take over the company. This ensures continuity and can be motivating for the management team. However, financial resources and legal issues can be a challenge.

5. sale to an external buyer

Selling the business can be a solution if there are no suitable internal or family successors. This can offer financial advantages, but also entails the risk of losing the company values and culture.

Conclusion on succession planning in the company

Succession planning in a company is a complex and multi-layered process that requires careful planning and consideration. The right time, the involvement of employees, the selection of a successor and the consideration of financial and legal aspects are decisive for success. There are various solutions, each with their advantages and disadvantages. A tailored strategy that meets the specific needs and circumstances of the business is the key to a successful generational transition and ensuring long-term success.

Here are some examples of our speakers who are experts in business succession planning:

Would you like to find out more or book an expert on succession planning in your company? Contact us: +1 (704) 804 1054 or

Dr. Dr. Cay von Fournier

Expert in Corporate management, Employer branding & Leadership

Ferdinando Falco Beccalli

Entrepreneur, Founder, Investor, Expert in Global Business Management & Leadership

Klaus Kobjoll

Hotelier & Expert in Business Management