The farm transition journey
When I ask farm families their main desire for coaching it is often “communication, communication, communication”.
They are stuck!
Farm succession or transition planning is a journey of understanding.
Courageous and clear communication involves seeing things from another person’s perspective, uncovering their intentions, fears, hopes, and dreams for their future. It’s about embracing conflict resolution as a business risk management strategy and not being afraid of talking respectfully about tough issues. Attacking the issues, not the person.
What are your expectations? When will we get certainty of agreements and timelines? Who is committed to getting this plan put into action?
My unique approach to helping farm families is empowering them to find harmony through understanding. Get to know my TLC model here:
The TLC model stands for farm Transition, Legacy Preservation and Conflict Resolution.
Get individual coaching for your family to open up discussions about the topics that need attention – and less tension. After coaching over 1000 clients, this is Elaine’s tried and proven process that provides the following value:
- Facilitate each family members’ needs and wants
- Outline a farm transition plan for the Management Circle and Ownership Circle
- Gain harmony through clear communication and understanding
- Develop a strong foundation to handle future bumps along the transition journey
- Increase profitability when running regular family business meetings
- Empower your family by creating rich conversations and relationships
- Set the next generation up for success
- Keep the farm and legacy intact
- Create a safe space to address and resolve conflict
- Feel heard and value every voice
- Create an accountability structure to execute the transition plan with timelines
- Clarify expectations and agreements of roles
- Gain greater ROE (Return On Energy) to run the family farm business better than ever before
7-step process flow:
- Family Dynamic Map: During the discovery call, we will map out your family genogram in order to identify needs and age tasks, conflict points for farm and non-farm family members, list current advisors, and understand the urgency of coaching timelines.
- Key Challenges Audit: Identifying the areas that your business needs coaching attention (such as: fairness, residence needs, income stream, viability, dealing with difficult feedback, having better family meetings) and decreasing the anxiety of uncertainty for the future.
- Personal Profile: Providing contact information, identifying your current stage in farming career, outlining long and short term goals, clarifying expectations about your ideal inheritance, and the degree of risk and changes you’re willing to take.
- Discuss the UndiscussabullTM: Private personal or couple coaching calls in order to gain perspective on key issues to be discussed at the next family business meeting. Voicing the concerns you have not voiced before, stepping into having more courageous conversations, gaining new skills for better communication and conflict resolution, and accessing specific tools from Elaine’s Toolbox for your unique situation.
- Family Meeting: Being clear about the goals and outcomes desired. Using Elaine’s facilitation methods to share expectations, timelines, expectations, and roles. In this family meeting, we share ideas, frustrations and concerns and identify the next action steps.
- Building the Advisory Team: Communicating with existing advisors (ie: accountants and lawyers) and referring to financial planners and other appropriate professionals (ie: physicians and counsellors). Start executing pieces of the plan where we have to seek more in-depth advice (ie: family income streams, real estate, division of property, etc).
- On-going Support: Regular check-ins with your coach and further facilitated meetings, as necessary. This is a crucial step in order to keep things moving in the right direction and not get sidelined or stuck by procrastination, lack of commitment to get things done, or going back to old habits. Talk does not cook rice. You’ve got this!
A Virginia Tech study showed that families that can communicate well regularly are 21% more profitable.
Finding Fairness in
High land values are keeping farm families stuck. Do you want your farm business to remain intact for the next generation? Most do. Do you want the family to get along and come home for gatherings? Most do. What most farms don’t do is break down assumptions, have robust respectful family meetings, and discover the expectations of ALL family members.
This video highlights Elaine’s acronym F.A.I.R. (Financial transparency, Attitude towards money, Intentions, and Roles and rebels). Learn how to help everyone in the family be successful.
Discuss the UndiscussabullTM
In many farm kitchens there’s a bull in the middle of the room – what I’ve termed as the “Undiscussabull” – the thing no one is willing to talk about it. That stops now!
Most families know they need to talk about tough issues; they just don’t know HOW or where to get started.
If you’re stuck and wanting to bring your family to the table to start the conversation, find out about my unique process called “Discuss the UndiscussabullTM“.
Farm Succession Planning Testimonial
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet , Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
Procrastination and conflict avoidance stops now!
I deal with the family circle of business. I don’t do tax, cashflows, or legal footwork. I do uncover the key challenges that are keeping people stuck. I do know a lot of great legal, accounting, and financial advisors that I will embrace on the journey. I’ll also talk professionally with your advisor team as we work out the communication plan.
The conversations that I facilitate with families help them see which emotional factors are affecting planning. We uncover the key challenges and create solutions. We share emotions to help understand what people are thinking, feeling, needing, and wanting.
Transparency is safe and respectful as expectations are addressed.
Succession planning is not an event. It’s the family circle coming together. It’s a transition of roles, management, and ownership. In order to navigate the unfolding changes, it’s really key that the family exhibits strong communication and conflict resolution skills.
I help families talk effectively with each other by confidentially exploring their personal reality first and then bringing the members of the farm family together for robust family meetings via zoom.
Let me help you all get to the conversation table. It’s time.