Succession Planning


Passing the baton is arguably the most important aspect of a relay race.  Whether a public or private company, the transition of leadership or ownership is a critical process, and one that should be done by design rather than default.  Change is inevitable and healthy, but the nature of change is difficult for many people.  Change is a deeply emotional process, even more so within family owned businesses.  A presentation that Dr. Wilson is often asked to share is entitled, “Successfully Managing Change.”  Individuals and organizations must learn to properly process change and choose to move forward with positive attitudes.  But that’s a process.  A typical succession plan includes:

  1. Recruitment – Ensuring that you have the right people on your team
  2. Development – Investing in existing leaders at multiple levels
  3. Selection – Choosing candidates
  4. Announcement – Introducing the person(s) selected
  5. Implementation – actually passing the leadership


Dr. Wilson and WLG will help you:

  • Develop a succession strategy.  This process should begin at least five years before the transition.  When is the best time to plant a tree?  Ten years ago.  When is the next best time?  Today.  Decide today to develop a strategy.
  • Clarify the vision.  Decide where the business needs to go, and then decide who best to lead you there.
  • Assess team members and evaluate overall team readiness.  Clarify roles and determine who best fits various positions. 
    • The assessments we utilize enable us to thoroughly analyze individual strengths and weaknesses and determine best fits.
  • Develop talent and strengthen leadership competencies.
  • Build ownership and preserve unity.
  • Ensure a smooth transition and minimize disruptions.
  • Maintain continuity of vision, productivity and profitability.
  • Improve employee commitment, retention and morale.
  • Reduce risks.  Wrong hires cost 3-5 times a person’s salary, in addition to damaged client relationships and possible loss of the company.

Facts for Family – Owned Businesses

  • 90% of the 18 million businesses in North America are family-owned and managed.
  • Only 1% of family-owned businesses in NA reach a third generation with a family member running the business.
  • 30% of all family-owned businesses have not considered a succession plan, with only 63% having done so when the owner has already turned 65.
  • 58% of small business owners list inadequate succession planning as the biggest threat facing their business.

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