Contingency Planning

Clarity and alignment when you need it most

The Challenge

Many enterprising families recognize the importance of succession planning, despite its inherent strategic and psychological complexity. After all, the successful long-term transition of leadership and ownership is one of the most critical drivers of family enterprise continuity. However, these plans often take months to develop and years to execute. Consequently, when families don’t also devise shorter-term plans to address the unexpected loss of key leaders throughout the system, it can undermine these longer-term efforts and plunge the entire system into chaos precisely when it needs stability the most.

Instead of scrambling to transition leadership during moments of crisis, families can proactively develop contingency plans for all key leaders throughout the system. This helps to minimize surprises and ensure leadership continuity precisely when the enterprise and its key stakeholders are feeling most anxious about the future.

Our Solution

LGA advisors work with families to develop these contingency plans by leveraging the thoughtful strategic reflection and analysis that takes place during conventional succession planning. Families emerge with a tactical plan to respond with speed and clarity in the event of an unexpected loss of a key leader, sending a powerful signal to all key stakeholders that family leaders have the situation under control.  

We also help families review existing contingency plans and ensure their alignment with longer-term continuity plans so both of these critical processes will be mutually reinforcing.

How does it work?

LGA’s Contingency Planning services will help you:

  • Map out dependencies on key leaders for influence, information, and decision-making across business, ownership, and family domains
  • Create an action plan for any initial response to the unexpected, aimed at maintaining stability and trust
  • Consider all available options for leaders who can bridge the gap in the short-term
  • Identify all key stakeholders who need to be consulted and informed, including information that needs to be shared and the mechanisms to share it (i.e. bank accounts & passwords, insurance policies, shared property, inheritance, and estate issues)
  • Develop a plan to prepare transitional leaders so they can engage and respond effectively on Day 1
  • Build an authority matrix to map out who will make key decisions while the leadership transition is unfolding, including how differences of opinion and conflicts will be resolved
  • Create a communication plan to share the design with all key stakeholders

How does your family benefit?

Losing a key leader or family member is never easy. That said, families will emerge from the LGA Contingency Planning process with clarity and confidence that their enterprise is prepared to survive this loss without any unnecessary confusion or conflict. We help transitional leaders prepare for the difficult challenge of stepping into a position of authority during a crisis and help the family and the enterprise remain patient and understanding until crisis conditions subside.

A well-designed Contingency Plan and a strategic Succession Plan work together to provide all of your key stakeholders with confidence that the enterprise will survive the inevitable loss of its current leaders — whether it happens by force or by choice.

contingency planning

Case Studies

family office case study

Case Study: Launching a Family Office

The second-generation CEO of a large family enterprise was approached by a strategic investor who made a generous and unsolicited offer for their legacy operating business. The CEO had previously never explored a sale — both because of her strong emotional connection to the company and its employees — two of whom were her kids — and because of its attractive cash flow and growth profile.

on campus learning

Case Study: Sustaining Engagement in a Cousins Consortium

Three third-generation Family Directors of a large enterprising family were attending a global conference focused on innovation and growth. Their 90-year old family had deep pride and gratitude for the success and leadership of previous generations. However, there were no family members currently working actively in the business, and the family’s only connection to their vast operations — which spanned eight industries and three continents — was limited to these three members of the Board.

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