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Succession Planning

How can you prepare a business for when its founder retires – or suddenly isn’t able to lead the organization?

This question troubles many business founders, board members, and even leadership and staff of family owned and small-cap businesses. Without a plan in place, companies struggle to continue running successfully when a founder steps down, or even when he or she goes on vacation. In many cases, companies of this sort become so reliant on an individual or a few individuals that without them, it may be difficult to keep the business running at all.

Lead to the Future helps businesses navigate situations such as these. The solution involves systemizing and structuring the company differently—dividing the tasks among people, creating processes, checks and balances, and policies, and ultimately codifying the elements of the company that only existed within the head of the founder.

Success Stories

  • A third generation leader of a manufacturing business with two sons in the business faced a challenge in selecting one of them to become president. We worked with the family to reorganize the business into business area units, giving each son an area of responsibility to develop his leadership skills.
  • Three siblings in a generation. Two siblings realized that they needed to sell the 50-year-old company. We helped them to put in place the leadership team that would enable the company to be successful under the new ownership.
  • Working with a generation two to generation three transition, we facilitated a smooth transition of authority and responsibility through coaching and strategic planning processes.
  • We worked with a business founder who was in burnout to find an interim president so he could step back from the day-to-day and plan for selling the company.
  • We helped a female founder develop an exit plan from the company, so she could maximize her value and see the company flourish under the new ownership.

Our Process

We begin work on any project by completing an assessment. We interview employees, explore paperwork and the legal documents that define the company structure. We attend meetings, observe how employees interact, and experience the company culture first-hand.


Our Tools

Based on the assessment, we then determine which additional tool modules best suit the company. Our tools include:

  • Interviews of key leaders
  • Focus groups
  • Observations
  • Custom designed surveys
  • 360 degree assessments
  • Testing such as MBTI, MAP, and enneagram
  • Comparison to your expectations
  • Comparison to the predominant culture of the competitors
  • Comparison to the optimal culture for the industry
  • Other specific tools, depending on the needs of your business