It is estimated that more than 70 percent of Australian businesses are family-owned. A succession plan is usually prepared and implemented to transfer the ownership of a business as smoothly as possible so the business can continue to grow and prosper. The selection and grooming of a successor, or successors, is built into the plan to allow for the preparation and transition of responsibilities to be gradual, and to also manage the entry and exit of family members.
According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, ‘transference of business ownership is likely to be at its highest levels in the next 10 to 15 years as baby boomers seek to leave the workforce’ (Molina 2004, p. 6).
A snapshot of Australian family businesses:
Why a focus on family business? Unfortunately, the statistics and trends are uncannily close to the future outlook of Australian education, particularly the supply of qualified classroom teachers, which includes teacher librarians.
The average age of the classroom teacher/teacher librarian is nudging the eligible age for retirement within the next five to ten years. Will a large proportion of the teacher librarianship workforce leave? What will happen to the management of school libraries, and the future of school libraries and teacher librarianship?
A snapshot of Australian education:
I foresee a couple areas of concern.
What will happen to your school library when you move on or retire? Do you care? A succession plan could, at least, identify the knowledge, skills and attributes of your successor.
What will happen to your professional associations when you move on or retire? No professional association is immune to the phenomenon of ‘family’ members planning to retire in five to ten years!
A Succession Plan with the purpose to:
will be a wise move.
We live in interesting times!
Australian Education Union 2003, ‘AEU Parliamentary Brief’, Hands Up, no. 1, October 2003, Australian Education Union, Southbank, Vic, viewed 15 January 2005, http://www.aeufederal.org.au/Publications/HandsUp/1-Oct2003.pdf
Brierley T 2001, ‘Wanted: Leadership!’ in Opinion, Australian Secondary Principals’ Association.
‘Family business & succession planning’ 2004, Media release, Family Business Australia, 23 March 2004, viewed 17 January 2005, http://www.fambiz.com.au/files/Succession_Planning_230304.pdf
Molina L 2004, ‘It’s essential to have a plan for passing on ownership’, The Courier-Mail: Business owner, 10 November 2004, Brisbane, p. 6.