Developing a Management Succession Plan for the Family Farm?

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2 Developing a Management Succession Plan for the Family Farm? Alan Miller Farming Together Purdue University 2002 Alan Miller

3 What is succession planning? it is a PROCESS that ensures the continuation of a business through the generations. The final test of greatness in a CEO is how well he chooses a successor and whether he can step aside and let his successor run the company. Peter Drucker, management expert

4 Figure Title: The Family Business Dilemma Source: Strategic Planning for the Family Business, Randel S. Carlock and John L. Ward, palgrave/mcmillan, 2001.

5 Figure Title: Different goals: family system versus business system Source: Strategic Planning for the Family Business, Randel S. Carlock and John L. Ward, palgrave/mcmillan, 2001.

6 Did you know... 90% of U.S. businesses are categorized as family owned. 7 of America s 8 oldest family businesses are farms. While 78% intend to pass the business on to children, only 34% create a succession plan (for 25% a will is the only element of that plan). 70% of first generation businesses fail to survive into the second generation. 15% survive into third generation. 1% survive into the fourth generation. Source: Small Business Administration

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8 Steps in Succession Planning Process 1. Understand what succession is 2. Discover expectations 3. Examine options 4. Create a plan 5. Check with experts 6. Finalize the plan 7. Implement the plan

9 Step 1. What is succession?* Succession is: An on-going process About family, people, and relationships About transferring management About treating people fairly Driven by people s values, wants, needs, and related concerns Succession is not: A one-time event One person s problem About minimizing taxes on property transfers About treating people equally Driven by technicalities that can be handled by lawyers and accountants *Managing the Multi-Generational Family Farm, p.160, Canadian Farm Business Management Council, 1997.

10 The Weakest Link In Farm Business Transfer Planning Is? Human Side Technical Side Conflict management Problem solving Communication & listening Goal setting Consensus building Team building Strategic planning Wills Living trusts Gift strategies Gift/sale strategies Valuation planning Entities: FLPs/LLCs/etc. Options/right of first refusal/buy-sell Adapted from Some Do s and Don ts for Successful Farm and Ranch Family Estate Transfers, JOE, June 1999.

11 Succession Planning Critical Issues: Transfer of management Transfer of assets Anticipating disruptive events Death, disability, divorce, disaster, dollars, & disagreements

12 Step 2: Discovering Expectations Should involve all family members (whether in the business or not) Assumptions at any stage about other s wants or expectations should not be made Say no to secrecy!

13 Paul Sue Kat Junior Say NO to Secrecy!

14 Step 3: Examine Options Key Questions: What role, if any, will family members play in the succession plan? What can we do to treat all offspring fairly? How can I prepare for either a different role in the business or for retirement? How will the transfer of ownership be handled? How will the successor(s) be trained? How will the change in roles be communicated to stakeholders?

15 Family First versus Carl Business First Joe Farm Owner Jan Physician Bob Friend Part-time farmer Key employee

16 Robert Fair versus Equal

17 How Can I Treat On and Off-Farm Heirs Fairly? Realize that fair treatment doesn t necessarily mean equal treatment. Miriam E. Robeson, Attorney, Kokomo, Indiana What have you done to discover heirs expectations? Which of your children share your goals for the farm? What if on-farm heirs don t share the same goals? Which of your children have contributed to farm growth? Is farm sustainability a high priority? What are advantages/disadvantages of keeping off-farm heirs involved in the farm? What have you done to examine options for different solutions for on and off-farm heirs?

18 Step 4: Create a Succession Plan Plan for transferring management Plan for transferring property Contingency plan for managing disruptive events

19 Choosing the Successor What specific attributes would you look for in a successor? Education Experience Personal characteristics Skills required Job responsibilities

20 Grooming the Successor How do you provide opportunities to make decisions, take risks, and develop management skills? Initial evaluation Management training Career growth Regular feedback Timetable (allow 5 years to 15 years)

21 Step 5: Check with Experts Use them to comment on your thinking, not to do your thinking for you Should be visited only after you ve thought about the process

22 Step 6: Finalize the Plan Decide how the plan will be rolled out Develop action steps related to implementation Set target dates/timeline for implementation Develop new standard operating procedures Develop plan for evaluating implementation efforts Schedule periodic follow-up/review of plan Continually work at effective communications Write it down!

23 Step 7: Implement Plan

24 Recommendations for Creating Successful Family Business Transfer Plans Plan early Develop a shared family vision Write shared goals Seek assistance from competent advisers Maintain open communications Plan with heirs, not for them Flexible plans are best, no plan is permanent Adapted from: Robert J. Fetsch, Some Do s and Don ts for Successful Farm and Ranch Family Estate Transfers, Journal of Extension, Volume 37, Number 3, June 1999.

25 Recommendations for Creating Successful Family Business Transfer Plans (continued) Listen effectively Recognize not everybody will be happy: When people know what is planned, they are better able to cope even though they may not like the plan Make no assumptions Respect each other Start the transfer process early Adapted from: Robert J. Fetsch, Some Do s and Don ts for Successful Farm and Ranch Family Estate Transfers, Journal of Extension, Volume 37, Number 3, June 1999.

26 Reference Textbooks Generation To Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business; K. E. Gersick, et. al.; Harvard Business School Press, Strategic Planning for the Family Business: Parallel Planning to Unify the Family and Business; R.S. Carlock and J.L. Ward, Palgrave/Mcmillan, Farm Estate and Business Planning; Neil E. Harl, Agricultural Law Press, 2011.

27 Reference Planning Guides/Tools Managing The Multi-Generational Family Farm Successful Farming s Ag-Planner/IV ; D. J. and P. J. Jonovic; Family Business Management Services m/

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