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Generational Change in an Industrial Company

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After many years as a consultant for industrial companies, I have gained an important insight: The transition to a new generation in a company is similar to the interplay of a complex machine—every single cog must mesh perfectly to keep the whole thing running.

Today, I would like to share my thoughts on succession planning in industry with you, as I firmly believe that this is a crucial factor for the long-term success of a company. Unlike many other industries, industrial companies are often complex entities. Many of them are family businesses that have grown over generations. This is where tradition and innovation meet, and this makes succession planning a special challenge.

The Challenge

I remember a case where the family-run company had excellent engineers, but the next generation showed more interest in sales and marketing. The challenge? To find a way to preserve the technical excellence of the company while at the same time setting new priorities.

Taking Proactive Measures

Something I always stress is the importance of early action. In industry, the time frames for developments are often long. My advice is to start planning at least 5 to 10 years before the planned change.

My Preferred Methodology

I rely on a participatory approach. This means that I talk not only to the current management, but also to the next generation and the employees. This not only creates clarity, but also trust - a basic prerequisite for a successful transition.

Emotional Considerations

One point that is typically overlooked in the discussion about succession is the emotions. It is not only a business process, but also a human process. I have had the best results when I create a safe space for these emotions and include them in the process.

Valuable Guidance for You

Be brave and take on the challenge of succession planning long before it becomes a necessity. Look for an advisor who understands not only the business, but also the human side of this process.


A successful generational change in industry is no coincidence—it is the result of careful, empathetic and far-sighted planning. The future of your company is worth it.

Learn More?

If you are interested in this topic, I would be happy to talk to you about it in an initial, non-binding conversation. Just leave me a message under the following link and I will get in touch with you.