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Case Study #3 - Prescription for Succession


 Sid, owner-manager of a pharmaceutical research company, has gone into the hospital again for his second heart by-pass operation in two years. While he is expected to recover, he cannot physically take care of the business they way he used to.

Sid has a strong management team, including his son-in-law, who can manage the business in his absence. None of his children are involved in the company. Sid wants the business to stay in the family for the benefit of his wife, children and future generations.


After Sid's recovery, we first worked with him to create a contingency plan outlining his responsibilities and those persons who should assume those responsibilities in the event of Sid's sudden absence from the business.

We then met individually with all stakeholders, including Sid's wife, Tamara, their three children, and their spouses. In these individual meetings, all agreed that the existing management team was capable of running the business effectively. All stakeholders also raised the issue of the turbulent relationship of the next generation.


We conducted a series of communication workshops to assist all family members to communicate effectively. We also assisted the group in preparing an Issue Resolution process that outlined the steps to be taken in the event that a conflict arose.

 We also assisted the family in establishing an Advisory Committee to assist family members with resolving issues, as well as assessing business opportunities presented by senior management and the board of directors. The Advisory Committee also acted as a mentor for the next generation.

Working with the family, we developed an education plan for the next generation on the responsibilities of ownership including their future role as a member of the board of directors.