Cosgrove Partners | Family Transitions
Cosgrove Partners (CP) is a management consulting firm dedicated to helping business leaders to pursue facts, accomplish objectives and create sustainable results. Founded in 2001, CP has assisted more than 2,000 management and sales professionals and more than 100 companies achieve higher levels of performance.
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Family Transitions


Transitioning ownership of a family business is possibly the most important business decision you will ever make… and almost certainly the toughest.

For a family business, transition is a once-in-a-lifetime decision. Perhaps no challenge has as much potential to amplify the unique stresses, or conversely, highlight the special advantages of operating a family business.

And as if the business, emotional, legal, and technical issues weren’t thorny enough, consider this daunting fact: only about 30% of family businesses survive into a second generation.

Most families are reluctant to tackle the issues and yet the health and longevity of a family business depend on careful transition planning—and on communicating the results of that planning to the right stakeholders at the right time. Doing so will increase the likelihood that your business will endure well beyond the leadership transition, delivering lasting value to your family.

Only about 30% of family businesses survive into a second generation.



Partner and Assess

We partner with the Board Of Directors or Owner(s) to assess and understand the business through their eyes.

  • Ownership Objectives
  • Strategy and Direction
  • Competitive Advantages
  • Key Business Drivers
  • Existing Financial Framework (cash flow, balance sheet, income statement, leverage, IRR, cap ex needs) 
  • Succession Plan
  • Communication Plan

Diagnose and Validate

Next, we diagnose and validate the current business situation.

  • Identify transition traps to avoid derailment
  • Evaluate timelines and business objectives
  • Vigorously research and define the competitive landscape



Competency Models

Next, we work to develop competency models for all key positions.

  • Conduct an independent talent assessment
  • Validate competencies relative to the strategy and direction of the business
  • Coach people in key roles against the model to improve skills and capabilities or to reposition into more appropriate roles

Operating Rhythm

Finally, we develop a monthly operating rhythm using the numbers to align and facilitate the management team in the achievement of their goals.

  • Financial review
  • Operational review
  • Project review
  • Timeline review



In the family business context, families who have successfully navigated business transitions tend to share a set of eight identifiable best practices in common, including the following:

  • They started their transition planning early.
  • They articulated a clear vision to family, employees and key stakeholders.
  • They formalized a succession plan as part of a larger business plan.
  • They worked to prepare the next generation.
  • They communicated the plan to the extended family.
  • They anticipated and purposely addressed where potential conflict might arise as a result of executing the plan.
  • They built an experienced transition management team.
  • They developed a written business succession plan with an implementation timetable.