From Owning to Exiting – The Risks of Transition Must Be Carefully Managed within Family-Owned Business, says SDL

DENVER – JANUARY 8, 2009 – Family-owned businesses don’t have a great track record making it into succeeding generations. Complex family relationships mixed with business issues make it critical to integrate strategic and succession plans, according to Strategic Designs for Learning (SDL).

“Succession planning should never be a stand-alone process in a family business,” said Renée Montoya Lado, founder of SDL, which provides leadership assessment and strategic leadership development as well as strategic business planning to family-owned and non-family-owned firms. “Integrated strategic and succession plans let business owners and their successors take the company further, faster and on a desired course.”

A new white paper, “From Owning to Exiting – Managing the Risks of Transition in a Family-Owned Business” advocates the importance of involving an integrated team of outside advisors in the initial stages of planning a transition or exit strategy

Creating growth “afterburners” on an established business is not easily accomplished, Lado explained. Many times owners have operated the business for years on their own instincts and management style, and often don’t have a well-documented plan. A plan that addresses the risks of transition takes into consideration revenue, profit and talent.

SDL uses descriptive and predictive leadership assessments that predict the success of potential successors. Family business owners need to identify such “must-have” skills for business success as decision-making abilities, leadership abilities, risk orientation, interpersonal skills and temperament under stress. Then they need to utilize leadership assessments that will generate predictive data about whether a succession candidate is a ”best fit” for the job --- thus, it can create a rational basis for creating the pool of succession candidates.

The white paper is available by visiting

About SDL

Strategic Designs For Learning (SDL) assists organizations in assessing, aligning and developing talent. Specific capabilities include leadership development, executive coaching, team development, and succession - with particular expertise in working with family-owned businesses. SDL provides a unique integration of leadership assessment, organizational development, coaching expertise, and business knowledge to effectively bridge the gap between business strategy and organizational effectiveness. More information is available at

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Gail DeLano
Fisher Vista/HRmarketer

Renée Montoya Lado