Goal 1: Select the best successor

It’s critical that Colin and Gillian’s ultimate decision be considered fair by all family members and inspire confidence so that the whole family accepts, supports and follows the new structure and the new leader’s decisions. A successful or effective transition should avoid the perception of picking a ‘favourite’, although it can often be interpreted that way.

Facilitated by their Advisor, a series of meetings and family sessions helped to draw out each family member’s personal vision and goals. The meetings established that Natalie and John would be capable of working together productively in line with a shared family vision for the direction of the business. For the medium term, they would avoid either business extreme (mass-market or luxury end) and John would continue to ensure the company’s design direction conforms with the current vision. Ultimately, the responsibility of CEO would fall to Natalie once their father retires as expected at the age of 75. Colin and Gillian felt naming their eldest child as successor best aligned with their original vision: to focus on providing quality residential housing for the mid-market.