Case studies

Next-generation learning and development in a multi-generational international business family

Laying the foundations for ownership transition success

In order to assist an international business family with its transition from second to third generation ownership, Deloitte’s Family Enterprise Consulting team created a tailored program of learning and development for the next generation, with a focus on responsible ownership.

The challenge

Deloitte’s Family Enterprise Consulting team were approached by the second generation of an international business family looking to increase next-generation involvement in their business, whilst simultaneously reducing their own operational involvement.

However, there were no provisions in place for involving the third generation, and third generation members already working in the business were in roles unsuited to them.

To complicate matters, those in the third generation not working in the business had little practical knowledge of it, and were ill-equipped to make important shareholder decisions in the future. Additionally, many of the third generation (either working or non-working) were unclear about their personal aspirations and future career plans, and being a large group of cousins, did not know each other very well.

Our approach

To address the issues above, the Family Enterprise Consulting team:

  • Held individual meetings with each of the second-generation siblings, in order to gain a deep understanding of the current requirements of the business, the personal aspirations of each individual, and an expected time line for reducing their involvement in the business;
  • Held individual meetings with each of the third generation family members (both working and non-working) in order to better understand their personal aspirations and view of the situation;
  • Created a plan for involving the third generation of family members in the governance of the group, including giving third generation members the opportunity to observe board meetings, and created clear family protocols and a family council;
  • Designed and delivered a learning and development programme, and collaborated on a workshop for the third generation to discuss their development needs as a group, define their personal objectives, and get to know each other better;
  • Assisted the third-generation with the creation of personal development plans (including key goals, milestones, actions and development areas), based on the discussions during the workshop, in order to encourage responsible ownership;
  • Worked with both generations to create a mentoring system to bridge the gap between second and third generation family members, and provided ongoing coaching to some of the third generation family members.

The outcome

Third generation family members got to know each other better, and gained a deeper understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, enabling them to better see how they could serve the needs of the business together as a team.

Each third generation family member also created a personal development plan and career path, giving them clarity and motivation over their future, whether this was inside the business or not.

As a result of the above, the second generation family members gained confidence in the ability of the third generation to take on more senior roles, and began the process of stepping back from day-to-day operations.

Our expert says…

‘The most enduring family enterprises are characterised by a positive relationship between their ‘business’ and ‘family’ elements.

When dealing with ownership transition, considering the personal aspirations and needs of the next generation in tandem with the goals and requirements of the business allows proper, transparent conversations to be had.

This not only ensures a positive relationship between the two, but can also present transition as a tremendous opportunity for both personal and commercial growth.’

Alexandra Sharpe, Partner, Family Enterprise Consulting

Find out more

To learn more about next-generation learning and development programmes, get in touch with our Family Enterprise Consulting team.

For further insights, read our weekly Family Enterprise blog.

Did you find this useful?