Generation changeover

The generation changeover process begins when the founders become aware that they want to pass their business on to their children and/or relatives. This process is more complicated if there are multiple branches of the family (siblings, children, grandchildren, etc.) in the organization. It is a phase that lasts many years and it takes adequate preparation for all involved.


Together with the owner, we develop targeted and personalized support in the management of all the phases of the generational transition described below.

The Phases of the Generational Transition:

  1. Begininning of preparatory activities and succession planning: we plan the timing and modalities of the succession, also initiating transversal activities to the entire process such as the management of relationships and communication activities with family members and non-family members;
  2. Training of the potential successor(s): identifying potential candidates for succession and carrying out the necessary training and education activities to develop their skills and empower them, in line with the criteria and objectives established during the planning phase;
  3. Selection of successor(s): evaluation of potential candidates and selection of the person(s) who will be the new leader(s) of the FB;
  4. Closing of the succession process: implementation of the activities that allow the conclusion of the succession process, which occurs with the leave of leadership by the predecessor in favor of the successor(s). This phase can be broken down into two sub-phases:
    1. Leadership transfer, in which the successor assumes effective leadership of the FB after a period of top-down collaboration with the predecessor;
    2. Corporate reorganization, during which a series of changes to the structure of the FB take place, mainly concerning governance aspects and its ownership-organizational structure (Azzone and Bertelè, 2004), in order to allow the new successor to exercise his or her leadership to the best of his or her ability and to allow the FB to assume the optimal configuration according to the new distribution of powers in the hands of the successor.


Source: Managing Succession in Family Businesses – Analysis of Italian Cases by Vittorio Chiesa, Alfredo De Massis, Marta Lina Pasi


Usually, during the transfer to the heirs, there is a period of transition in which the “old” generation and the new one live together in the company. During this phase (which can be very long), it is of fundamental importance to establish a healthy dialogue between the players involved.

It is frequent that conflictual dynamics are triggered between family members living together within the company. The coach helps to overcome this critical issue.


Types of Generational Transitions:

  1. With only one successor engaged in management;
  2. With multiple successors;
  3. With management by a non-family member;
  4. With ownership reorganization (and possible intervention of non-family partners);
  5. With sale of the company;
  6. Unexpected: the management of the unexpected (former death of the entrepreneur).


The Conditions for Successful Generational Change:

  • Distinction between Business from Family
  • Apply a modern governance system
  • Value competencies over membership
  • Define shared rules for change
  • Plan the goal and process