Consulting Conversations: Picking the Wrong Successor

Author:Hank Harris

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How does a client handle it when the successor can't run the business?

Director of Consulting Hank Harris answers the question in the latest installment of Consulting Conversations. Watch it now!

We want to think that everybody that gets picked as a successor will be the right answer and successful in what they do, but there are times when it doesn't work out that way. 

The hope would be that you have enough bench strength to pick another successor in your organization. If you don't, the alternative is to go to the outside. I think for most privately held businesses, that can be challenging.

I think for most privately held businesses, that can be challenging. It's not impossible. I think some people think it's impossible, but you know there are many, many cases where an outsider comes in and does just fine.

Sometimes, privately held business owners don't tend to like that, and I do think it's better if they can grow their own. But sometimes that has to be done. Ultimately, you have to have a successor. If there is no successor, you can't find one, unfortunately for a private business, you either have to sell the company to an outside party, or you'd have to wind it down.

Hopefully, you can figure out an answer either from the inside or the outside.

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