Succession planning involves a journey or a process rather than simply sitting down and writing a plan.
Often the plan itself is really just a formal confirmation of the outcomes of hours of discussions and negotiations addressing all the issues that form part of a successful succession planning exercise.
As much as we are dealing with businesses and assets, we are dealing with people and families and relationships here that are often considerably more difficult to resolve successfully than business management and asset ownership structures.
This process typically follows a number of steps or stages. Each one of these can take some time and effort before moving on. A succession planning exercise is rarely easy and often fraught with frustrations and hurdles to be overcome along the way.
The key to success is to keep focusing on the issues and the desired outcome, and not personal frustrations. In sporting terms, make sure we “play the ball and not the man”, even though this is sometimes easier said than done.