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Executive coaching is more often than not associated with preparing executives to take up higher responsibilities or in developing them to render better results. But what about in succession planning? Choosing a successor is a tough decision that CEOs and Heads of Businesses have to make. In making such a decision, they need to consider:

  • The organization’s current performance
  • The shape of things to come in their business
  • The talent resources available at hand
  • The culture and DNA of their organisation
  • The interests of major stakeholders in the succession decision

Should they promote from within or get someone form outside? Should their choice be driven by immediate needs or the long term interests of the firm? These are a few of the many questions they need to answer.

As if these points were not complex in themselves, they become far more important when the succession is in a family owned business. Here the CEO is not just considering capable and well qualified executives, he is usually considering his own sons/nephews or close relatives.

Corporate India has seen how the succession issue pans out in large family owned companies. A case in point is the Ambani empire being split between the two sons- Mukesh and Anil- after considerable wrangling. An article in Business Week speaks of the in-fighting even 3 years after the split took place.

Andre RIbeiro who runs a coaching firm called Extra Coaching writes of how he coached a family in a transition involving succession. It is an interesting application of executive coaching in a large family owned organisation.

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This is Post No: 280 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.

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