Lansberg·Gersick & Associates
Advising the world's leading family enterprises

PHASE II: Design & Implementation

Focus on action and outcomes

The plans and timetables that emerge from the Continuity Audit are the blueprint, but real change requires successful implementation. 

Some of the activities make use of standard business practices and well-used instruments. Others have been designed by LGA specifically for family enterprises. Although each client relationship includes a unique implementation plan, the components are nearly always drawn from the following sets:

Focus on Continuity

We do not take the continuity of any family enterprise into future generations for granted.  Our conceptual model of transition -- adapted from the most widely accepted theories of management science -- addresses both the family's "collective dream of continuity," and a realistic assessment of the viability of the enterprise in the future.

We help families address all facets of this complex process:

  • acceptance of the inevitability of change
  • commitment to disengaging from dependence on existing resources
  • exploration of all possible futures
  • choice of a new design and new leadership
  • implementation of the successor system

Every point on this journey must maximize communication, trust, creativity, and the courage to simultaneously see challenges and resources clearly, and to imagine new possibilities.  For some families, it is also essential to confront the alternatives to continuity -- the honest assessment of whether the resources exist for a generational transition, and an analysis of the possibility of harvesting, pruning the tree, or division into a set of diversified interests.

Timelines and Outcomes

Phase II can require anywhere from a few months to several years to accomplish. Some of the tasks can be concurrent, and others must be undertaken in sequence. You can explore many of our most common interventions in the Services section of this website. 

As with the Continuity Audit, there are content and process outcomes from this phase. The content will depend on the needs and ambitions of the family, but should include creating the architecture (boards, assemblies, councils, holding companies, committees, trusts, and partnerships) and the procedures (contracts, policies, agreements, and understandings) for all aspects of the family's governance.

The process outcome is the family's experience in working together to plan its future: welcoming input from all stakeholders, resolving conflict, selecting and empowering leaders, building routines for communication between branches and generations, preparing for inevitable transitions, dealing with disruptive or antagonistic members, expressing gratitude for service to the family, and helping children to understand and appreciate the unique collective identity of the evolving family.

This phase is characterized by intense planning and organizational change.

It is typical for a family to take a moment to relax and consolidate its accomplishments after an intense Phase 1 and Phase 2 effort. But it is important to track the impact, intended and unintended, or each continuity effort, and to make necessary adjustments to fine-tune the new designs.

This process often continues during Phase III: Follow-Up and New Initiatives.

Hope is a good breakfast,
but it is a bad supper.
— Sir Francis Bacon