A strategic partner of mine, Shane Barber of B.V. Alan, Inc., has a saying. It goes “All organizations are perfectly organized to get the results that they are currently generating.” That means that if you are not getting the results you want, there is a clear reason for it and you should be looking to how your organization is structured and peopled and how it needs to change.
This is particularly true when we are dealing with businesses that make the decision pursue sale or succession as exit strategies. Rarely do we find owners who have had their ultimate end game as the guiding force for their business organization. The opposite is true. Most owners act as if they are open-ended systems that are going to be going on forever. Then a day comes when they are tired, beat-up, feeling their mortality, wanting to do something else, etc. And they decide, “I really should be doing something.”
Whether ‘something’ is selling a business or business succession, it is highly unlikely that the organization and people they have are designed to optimize those outcomes. Therefore if the owner or owners really want to achieve this new outcome they must:
Understand and embrace this new goal they want to achieve
Understand how the organization must change its design, processes and people to achieve the new goal
And be willing to fully participate in and embrace the processes necessary to accomplish the desired change
These three are simple sounding but in my experience very difficult to do. I would advise anyone who is starting the process of their exit planning to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask, “Am I really ready to ‘fully participate and embrace the change process’. If you’re not, I would advise you to hold off. Don’t waste the time, money and energy. Wait until you truly are. Embrace and participating fully in the change is the indispensable key to your own success.