Family Business Patriarchs and Matriarchs: When Is It Time to Move On?

Family Business Patriarchs and Matriarchs: When Is It Time to Move On?
Category: Interviews
Published: January 9, 2024
Updated: January 16, 2024
Views: 22307
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Successfully handing over a family business to the next generation of leaders requires both careful planning and exquisite timing. The next generation must be competent enough for leadership and the patriarchs and matriarchs of the business must be emotionally ready to relinquish it.

Tony Wood, who is a principal of the RSM consulting firm and the national leader for its global family office practice, has helped many family firms manage this transition. In this interview with FamilyBusiness.org's Kimberly Eddleston, Wood says that while the older leaders might feel the time is ripe for passing the baton, they are often not ready for the emotional aspects of it. Three triggers come into play: fear of being able to manage the transition; trust that the business has effective processes in place; and confidence that the next generation will be good stewards. A key question that the older leaders should ask themselves: Will the next-gens enhance what they've built?

In the interview Wood also shares his thoughts on the three distinct phases of family business transition: the planning, the transition itself, and the aftermath when the patriarchs and matriarchs have departed. 


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
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Cite this Article
DOI: 10.32617/1008-659d79480d52a
Eddleston, Kimberly. "Family Business Patriarchs and Matriarchs: When Is It Time to Move On?." FamilyBusiness.org. 9 Jan. 2024. Web 23 May. 2024 <https://familybusiness.org/content/family-business-patriarchs-and-matriarchs-when-is-it-time-to-mov>.
Eddleston, K. (2024, January 9). Family business patriarchs and matriarchs: when is it time to move on?. FamilyBusiness.org. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from https://familybusiness.org/content/family-business-patriarchs-and-matriarchs-when-is-it-time-to-mov