I spoke with James Mendelssohn, the Chairman of MSI Global Alliance, a worldwide association of mid-sized independent law and accounting firms and the founder of Firm Management Associates, a U.K.-based consultancy focusing on the professional services sector.

We discussed the release of his new book Life After Boris (SRA Books, 2013), which he describes as “an enchanting, quick-to-read fable about succession issues in a rabbit warren following the death of the leader.” Mendelssohn explained why succession planning is such a key issue in professional firms and why so many firms fail to address it. He also offered some best practices for firms of all sizes, including:

  1. Strip out the pride and emotion from the succession planning process.
  2. Start planning early since you cannot successfully navigate it under time pressure.
  3. Create a five-year plan.
  4. Incorporate a broad range of feedback.
  5. Engage a third party to help navigate the details.

Listen to our interview below: