Proagtive is a diverse team of professionals in succession and strategic planning delivering specialised services to people in family farm businesses...
We aim to make a difference for rural Australia by enabling business owners to start preparing their businesses for the future. Family business owners need to have the capability and the desire to do so. Families who take action to prepare their businesses for the next generation give themselves the competitive edge. This is as a result of a collective and simple focus by those in the business without the noise and distraction associated with a lack of clarity about the direction of the future.
Our professional facilitation services enable people in family businesses to underpin a strategic or succession planning process with healthy and effective communication. We are different to others who say they do succession planning because we work in pairs. This allows family members to more easily build rapport with us and also gives our clients a greater breadth of skill sets to draw on.
Our process includes viability testing and analysing the financial position of the business. We determine what it takes to move from a current position to a desired position via a strategic and operational plan. Our process involves all family members, obtaining their input and commitment to an action plan. We chair and participate in ongoing family business board meetings to support the implementation of these plans.
We also deliver workshops aimed at educating all stakeholders in family farm business about the complexities of succession and strategic planning.
The workshops target multi-generational farming families in business and take them through interactive sessions with workbooks supplied, where they can begin the process of succession planning and also understand it better.
Isobel Knight, winner of the NSW and ACT RIRDC (Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation) Rural Woman of the Year for 2013 and National Runner Up, has a broad background of experience, including Bachelors of Law, Business and Psychology, and ground level agricultural enterprise experience. She has also studied and received training in mediation and counselling. She is a partner in a farming business, has had first-hand experience living and working in a family farm business and experienced the process of family farm succession planning at a personal level. Isobel has consulted with leading US Family Farm Business Advisors and has close contacts with leading agricultural business schools.
Whether you are a family member or non-family member working in a family owned business – succession and preparing for the transition of management to the next generation is an integral part of good business planning. Succession involves far more than just the transfer of assets when the business owners either retire or die. It is an evolving process ensuring the continuation of a business down through either generations or layers of management. It involves choosing and grooming the successor(s), planning for the future, coping with the transition, communicating around and managing the change to the family and the business and letting go gracefully. The timeliness of succession is the most critical task any business owner wishing his or her business to endure for future generations will face.
Effective succession planning depends on open communication, good will, respect and a desire to keep relationships strong between all family members whether they are on farm or off.
Since its inception Proagtive has been working with family farm businesses all over Australia, presenting educational workshops to thousands of farmers. Isobel Knight and her associates have worked face to face with individual farming families preparing their businesses and their families for a future in agriculture. Rural people, striving to sustain relationships and create successful family businesses, benefit significantly from effective business transition.
Harmonious relationships, financially successful businesses and ongoing viability ensure effective positioning to successfully transition to the next generation and also continued stewardship of Australia’s agricultural land by Australian farming families.