Support needs for succession planning in family based businesses - Seminar, Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett UniversityLeeds Beckett University
A seminar to raise awareness and discuss the support needs for succession planning in family based businesses – 22nd April 2015

Leeds Beckett University hosted a seminar on sharing knowledge about succession planning in family based businesses and sharing new research, as funded by the INSIST project.

The seminar provided an insight into family business and looked at what some have coined as the family secret. The University’s research has looked at why succession planning is paramount to a family businesses getting beyond 2nd and 3rd generation, how innovation has transformed companies from where they started and why a global audience has now become a family businesses customer base.

Those working directly with family businesses and owner managed businesses were invited to attend, to gain some valuable shared knowledge. Delegates were interested in shaping and developing their own business models and took part in stimulating discussion of environmental factors (such as availability of finance for growth and the availability of advice and guidance that will be useful to support the survival, growth and sustainability of family businesses in Leeds and the surrounding area).

Guest speaker David Clarkson (Business Development Director at Armstrong Watson) brought over 23 years’ experience in the communications industry and shared his insight into working with family businesses – Through recent projects and current film interviews he looked at the special characteristics of the family business, how they survive and change and just why they maintain their position of stability more often than non-family businesses.

The key questions considered during the seminar were;
• What are the demographic and cultural factors influencing succession planning in family based businesses?
• How do the business strategies of family based businesses influence their competitive performance and sustainability?
• Why are there a lack of family business programmes and courses of study or professional development in centres of further and higher education?
• Do those seeking to lead or support inter-generational transition possess the mentoring or coaching skills to support successful change?
• What is the nature of the finance gap limiting the growth of family based SMEs?