Why succession planning on Christmas Day is not a good idea

"The temptation, however, to use Christmas to talk succession planning is strong for many families this year because of lockdowns and an inability to catch up as much as we’d like."

"So, this Christmas leave family days to relaxation, celebration and the enjoyment of being with family, and leave the strategy discussions to their scheduled forum dates."

    Christmas can be known as much for family barnies as it is for prawns and a leg of ham for lunch, which is why it’s not the time to talk succession planning.

    The temptation, however, to use Christmas to talk succession planning is strong for many families this year because of lockdowns and an inability to catch up as much as we’d like. Despite this, you should instead use Christmas to build or keep the close relationships needed to make succession planning a success. What’s worse is a family catch up that sours because an unplanned and structured succession planning session will sour the day and make you less inclined to catch up again.

    Our best advice is to hold off until the new year and then with agreed dates to give the structure and formality needed for successful succession planning and business decision making. This structured approach is also better as it allows everyone to prepare, and for the discussions to be held in a formal way that gives everyone a say.

    To be successful what is discussed and decided upon should be communicated to everyone in the family, whether they’re working on the farm or not. This gives everyone the comfort they are in the look with what’s going on and no one feels shocked or surprised. Building strong communication is vital for successful succession planning.

    Forums should be created to achieve certain goals. Some should be set aside to make decisions about the business with those family members who work on the farm, there should also be regular forums for those who own the business.

    So, this Christmas leave family days to relaxation, celebration and the enjoyment of being with family, and leave the strategy discussions to their scheduled forum dates.

    Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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