A Roadmap For Seamless Transitions In Leadership

By Bill Hermann & Gordon Krater

Leadership succession can make or break an organization, large or small. Less than a third of family businesses successfully transition from the first generation to the next. And fewer than 10 percent of near-retirement-age business owners have a formal succession plan.

With more than 60 years of combined experience at Plante Moran, Managing Partner Emeritus Bill Hermann and current Managing Partner Gordon Krater have collaborated to capture a formula for creating sustainable organizations. The formula has been successfully used to make Plante Moran one of America’s top accounting, tax, and consulting firms—and helped it earn a “best places to work” designation from Fortune magazine for an enviable 13 years straight.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on succession near the end of a leader’s tenure. But the process begins with understanding an organization’s culture, defining its recruiting processes, developing its training programs, and identifying experiential learning opportunities for its future leaders. While every organization has unique circumstances, this book captures universal ingredients to facilitate successful successions.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” the saying goes. Similarly, interactions with the “elders” in your organization create learning opportunities among future leaders. Hermann and Krater share specific examples and observations that demonstrate the key ingredients to help create your sustainable organization.