There are a lot of fears about succession planning from all the members of the family so when left up to the family to sort out often family members don’t articulate what they think because they are scared about what other family members will think. There are difficult conversations which need to be had, family members avoid these as they fear the implications. These difficult conversations are often the blockages to effectively transitioning the business to the next generation. Left unaddressed these difficult conversations turn into little hand grenades and can blow up otherwise successful family businesses.
It is better to get outsiders in who can be objective and ask the difficult questions. Then it boils down to understanding the differing points of view and reaching a compromise. An outsider can help manage this.
An outsider helps to ensure everyone is on the same page or one person could over time undermine the process. When family members can sit in the shoes of each other and listen to what it might mean for each other, family members are far more open to compromise. An outsider maybe required to reframe statements, to pose different scenarios to help each person understand, to share other examples of how other families have managed their succession. An outsider is there to support each family member as individuals and then to ensure the family are the drivers of their own succession planning process.