We understand that what the family seeks and what the business needs are continuity of leadership with adherence to core values, improved family harmony, and continuous reinvention of business strategies and tactics. To achieve these three concurrent objectives, we guide families through a process of continuity planning, a holistic planning and implementation process encompassing at least seven independent, concurrent planning activities led by several different primary professional advisors.

Seven Concurrent Continuity Planning Activities

  1. Facilitation – Facilitation [when necessary] to resolve existing and foreseeable family relationship issues, addressing resistance and ongoing tensions with families.

  2. Communication – Teaching effective communication skills and creating a safe forum for the numerous discussions that will need to take place in order to ensure effective planning.

  3. Financial, tax and estate planning – A well-coordinated financial, tax and estate planning process which best protects the family assets but also allows for the smooth transition of ownership and management to the next generation.

  4. Corporate and Family Governance – Whether a fiduciary board of directors or a non-fiduciary board of advisors, board composition is critical to the future performance of the company. Family governance systems are a growing concept and serve to keep the lines of communication open between active [employed by the operating company] and non-active shareholder.

  5. Corporate Strategic Planning – In today’s technology-driven, rapid, business climate companies need to be constantly focused on the direction of their industry and upcoming trends. They need to be growing or selling.

  6. Corporate Organizational Development – Solid organizational development plans ensure that the infrastructure of the company is in line with the strategic plan and is well positioned for growth. Sometimes in order to retain ownership and grow the enterprise, family members in management might have to face the reality that they are not equipped to take the company to the next level and must step aside and allow outside professionals to enter the system. It is the responsibility of the board to track ongoing organizational development.

  7. Financial Architecture – The design of an appropriate and capable strategy for funding both corporate strategic plans and controlling family/shareholder needs puts a company in the position to attract capital if the situation arises. Business owners generally always have a future vision for the company but they rarely sit down with professionals who can actually help them structure a plan to achieve that vision. The world of corporate finance to non-financial types can be daunting. However, if the future of an enterprise requires outside capital for an acquisition or creating some liquidity to meet current shareholder demands or fund retirement for the exiting generation than a financial strategy is necessary.

Continuity Planning Articles

HERITAGE AND TRADITION IN FAMILY BUSINESS: How Family Controlled Enterprises Connect the Experience of their Past to the Promise of their Future”
by Richard L. Narva

by Richard L. Narva and Peter von Braun