Event Report: Succession Planning

16 July 2013

What will your legacy be? Succession planning was the hot topic at ACA – Qld’s last event for 2013.

Speakers were David Frost, Group Practice Director of Thomson Adsett; Carl Brooks, Director of AB+M Architects and member of the ACA – Qld Committee; and Bruce Hatcher, consultant company director and family business adviser, BDO Australia.

Bruce has worked with many businesses – large and small, family, private and public – and his experience and passion for succession was evident as he spoke on the key drivers for developing a succession plan and why it is so important to start now

David and Carl discussed a range of issues including establishing their practices, growth and new shareholders, expansion, retaining talent, the exit of the first generation and development of today’s structure and new business ownership models.

The key point reiterated throughout the event was: succession is the process, not an event.

Several important steps were outlined during the discussion:

•      Identify the skill set you need to take the practice to the next level.

•      Promote and develop the people from within your practice.

•      Ensure that every key position has someone else who can do the role.

•      Maintain good communication – it’s critical.

•      Ensure that any meetings are purposeful and minutes are taken.

•      Develop a code of conduct.

•      Understand the difference between management, leadership and ownership.

•      Consider if an independent director/advisor adds value where your practice is lacking in skills.

Proper succession planning evolves over time and when changes occur, they can be managed without a crisis. What will your legacy be? 

This article first appeared in ACA Communique December 2013.