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TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #10 DECISIONS

Katrina Garrett - Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Succession in any business involves change and change cannot occur unless decisions are consciously taken to make things different.  The fact that only about 5% of Australian farmers decide to undertake the succession planning process is indicative of the perception of difficulty surrounding the process.  It also illustrates what a courageous decision it is for those who actually decide to embark on the succession journey.  It is courageous because such a decision has far reaching ramifications not only for those who make the decision, but their families and businesses as well.  Read More. . .

TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #9 RISK

Katrina Garrett - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Risk is all around us in the world and none more so than in agriculture. We have all the risks of running a business, OH & S, Financial, cash flow etc and on top of that we have markets where we are largely price takers, weather we cannot control, interest rates, AUD and so on.
It is interesting to note however that among all the risks above, many of which we have no control over, we tend to focus allot of our attention on those none controllable ones and often use these as a basis to justify why we have not achieved the outcomes expected. The other area of risk we do see all the time and is controllable, and in our view impacts more than any of the external risks is the family relationships and the communication that underpins these relationships. Often we will talk about the potential uplift in agriculture and much of this comes from getting aligned to the outcomes but this takes us to sit down and talk about what is needs to be and why.  Read More. . .

April 2015

Katrina Garrett - Friday, May 01, 2015

April was a very demanding month for the Proagtive team, with 3 2 day family meetings, and travel to Albury, Sydney, Orange, Dubbo and  Longreach. Outback Magazine featured Isobel in their 100th edition featuring "Great Australians: Living Legends of the bush”. Read More. . .

TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #8 ANALYSIS

Katrina Garrett - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When we think about analysis we generally think about figures - numbers and dollars.  But when we are thinking about analysis in terms of succession planning, it is imperative that we also think about the people in our families and businesses. Read More. . .

TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #7 HARD

Katrina Garrett - Thursday, March 19, 2015

Succession planning is generally perceived to be hard. Hard because it involves change, it is multi-faceted, and it is emotional, all of which can lead to a sense of overwhelm. But when considered from a different perspective, it can also provide a tremendous opportunity for family farming businesses. Read More. . .

February 2015

Katrina Garrett - Thursday, March 05, 2015

Cowra, Young, Brisbane, Dubbo, Longwood, Ararat and Melbourne were amongst the destinations visited by our consultants in February. Isobel also conducted a webinar for the Central West Landcare Group and it was a wonderful chance to experiment with technology. You can view the Webinar here Read More. . .

TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #6 OVERWHELM

Katrina Garrett - Thursday, March 05, 2015

Something that we often hear said in relation to Succession Planning is that it is “too hard”. One of the reasons for this is that is perceived to be such an enormous undertaking, it is considered overwhelming.

For most, it is a matter of not knowing where to start.  Families can be overwhelmed by the number of decisions that need to be made; their lack of clarity often in even knowing what questions need to be asked;  the fear around the difficult conversations that need to be had, and the fact that there is a lot of emotion involved.

One of the first things to realise is that Succession Planning is a process rather than an event, and therefore the issues can be resolved one step at a time. They do not have to be dealt with all at once.  The things that can be planned for can be planned, and flexibility can be left where it is needed.


So the starting point is with the business owners, who are also generally the parents in a family farming situation.  It is important that these people are crystal clear about what is important for them in both a business and personal sense, and how they see their future.  It is also important for them to realise that ‘Mums’ and ‘Dads’ do not necessarily want all the same things in their futures, and that this is absolutely normal.  


In the Succession Planning process Mums and Dads take priority over everyone else and this can be a difficult concept to grasp.  They need to be aware that they are responsible for their own clarity. Once they are clear about what their needs and expectations are, it is easier for the remainder of their family to gain clarity, and make the decisions they need to make.

To gain clarity, these are some of the questions that need to be asked:
What is the purpose of our business i.e. what are our goals and what are we wanting to achieve?
Is our business viable i.e. can our business meet our goals?
What are the roles and responsibilities of the different family members i.e. are they clearly defined, and is there a process in place to allow for a smooth transition?
Is there a retirement plan i.e. what does it look like, what will it cost, what does each partner want, what are the options?

Open and honest communication is vital in the Succession Planning process.  As much as many may find succession a “grubby” conversation to have, it is absolutely necessary to discuss the issues face to face in a forum that allows family members to hear from each other. It is a mistake to assume we know what other family members want.

When communicating in this situation it is also important to realise there will be conflict.  What matters is how the conflict is viewed and handled.  Conflict occurs as a result of difference and is therefore quite normal.  It needs to be talked about and resolved, rather than left to fester. Read More. . .

TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #5 Organisation

Katrina Garrett - Friday, February 20, 2015

Organisation Read More. . .

TOOO HARD Proagtive Blog Series #4 Opportunity

Katrina Garrett - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” 
Thomas A Edison

That is exactly what succession planning is – hard work! It is the final and lasting measure of a job well done, our life’s work coming to fruition. Read More. . .

January 2015

Katrina Garrett - Friday, January 30, 2015

Hard to believe that January is gone already, I suspect that it’s setting the tone for a busy year ahead. In January our consultants got off to an early start visiting Tocumwal, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The entire Proagtive team met for two days in a very humid Brisbane. There were a lot of exciting ideas to come out of this meeting, and watch this space as Proagtive broaden their offerings in 2015. Read More. . .