The recent conclusion of “Succession” begs the question about what could have been different had the Roy siblings changed their strategy or used distinct financing tools.
While the show offers a dramatic, and sometimes exaggerated, depiction of business issues, it does show some of the real-world challenges businesses often face.
Here are few “lessons learned” we think are apparent from the series:
Put your succession plans in place: The title of the series speaks for itself. The show is essentially a demonstration of poor succession planning. It’s a key lesson for any business owner that a clear, well-structured succession plan is absolutely necessary to prevent infighting and confusion when leadership changes occur.
Create strong corporate governance: The show reveals the many possible issues that can arise when corporate governance is weak. This can range from disputes among major shareholders, ethical lapses, misuse of power, and more.
Conflict management goes hand in hand with business health: With the family constantly in conflict, it’s a stark reminder of how personal and professional disputes can harm a business’s bottom line. Learning how to manage conflict effectively is key in any organization.
Foster a culture of proper ethics and legal compliance: Throughout the series, characters make numerous ethically and legally questionable decisions. It’s a stark reminder that bending or breaking the law can lead to major scandals and can harm a business’s reputation and bottom line.
Brush up on negotiation skills: The show is full of intense negotiations, both within the family and with other businesses. This highlights the importance of mastering negotiation skills in business, as these skills can be critical in closing deals, resolving conflicts, and achieving desired outcomes.
Be a strong leader and decision maker with ethics and integrity: Each character has their own leadership style, with varied levels of effectiveness. This highlights the importance of not only being a strong, decisive leader but also the crucial role of ethics and integrity in these roles. Emphasize on making tough decisions guided by a moral compass and commitment to fairness. Ensure your leadership not only achieves goals but does so in a manner that respects the dignity and rights of all involved.
Maintain clear communication: Miscommunications, secrets, and strategic withholding of information cause many of the series’ conflicts. Effective and transparent communication is crucial in any business.
Identify when personnel are favoring personal interests vs business interests: The characters often act in their own self-interest rather than the best interest of the company, demonstrating how personal motivations can affect business decisions.
Engage a strong public relations team: The show illustrates the significant role PR plays in managing a company’s image and responding to crises. When not managed proactively, one’s narrative can easily be controlled by others.
Overall, much of “Succession” was admittedly dramatized. Though, other aspects are quite accurate and valuable from the standpoint of what not to do.
What do you think? Are there other key lessons businesses and entrepreneurs should take from the show?