Scaling UP! H2O

127 The One With Tom Hutchison

Several months ago, I released a podcast on having multiple generations in the business (EP 104). Since that time, I have heard from several members of the Nation! who wanted to know more about how one generation transitions to another. Many of the original owners of the water treatment companies out there are retiring.  So, what should a business do to transition to the next generation properly?  

At the last Association of Water Technologies conference, Tom Hutchison of HOH Water Technology delivered a paper on this very topic. Tom interviewed 22 business owners of multi-generational businesses and asked them questions around the transition. Tom was gracious enough to come on today’s show and share his findings with the Scaling UP! Nation! 

Multi-Generational Businesses | DOWNLOAD!



Radical Polymers [00:10]

Rising Tide Mastermind [04:03]

AWT Training Schedule [05:56]

40 Years After In Water Treatment [11:30]

Multi-Generational Businesses [17:15]

Reason Why Generations Fail [24:50]

Start With “Why?” [29:16]

Family Dynamics [35:40]

4 Ways To Transition A Business [45:46]

Best Time To Talk Transition [54:07]

Why We Need To Have EOS [56:15]



“Things have changed since I was in the field in the ’80s and ’90s. I think customers have changed, as the market has changed, it is a different world for water treaters today. I think I know all the right answers, but I know what the answers were in 1980, and I am not so sure what they are now in 2019.”

“Fifty (50%) percent of second-generation businesses are successful, fifteen (15%) percent of third-generation businesses are successful, and five (5%) percent of fourth-generation businesses make it.”

“There is nothing more important to me with regards to HOH than to make sure that I’ve properly transitioned to the next generation.” 


Connect with Tom Hutchison:

LinkedIn: in/tom-hutchison-aa79a513



Links mentioned On This Episode:

Rising Tide Mastermind   

Association of Water Technologies 

122 The One with Reid Hutchison  

123 The Other One with Reid Hutchison  

104 The One on Generational Diversity  

045 The One That Brings Your Team Together  

085 The One with the Business Operating System 


Books Mentioned:  

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Dance in the End Zone: The Business Owner’s Exit Planning Playbook by Patrick A. Ungashick

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick M. Lencioni

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business  by Gino Wickman


Water Treatment education

One Reply to “127 The One With Tom Hutchison”

  1. Hey Trace just wanted to start of by saying I love the podcast i just recently attended the Awt training in Washington and I’m glad I came across this podcast. I have about 6 months in water treatment field and you have made it so much easier for me to understand and very helpful. I’m not sure if you have already covered this topic, but I would like to see if you can go over on TDS and Ph. Do they both tie in together. If tds goes up will p.h go up as well. And Or why we need to use acid in most cases to maintain a proper Ph on higher cycles. Hopefully this question makes sense.
    Thanks Trace

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