Family Business Wiki's Town Square

Family Business Wiki's TOWN SQUARE

All Blog Posts (367)

Discovering Values or Foundations

Documenting the values of a family is an important step in helping to build family legacy.  I use the word 'documenting' because most families do not take the time to write down what is fundamentally important to the family.  Our family faced the same inclination to avoid the hard work of putting into words the values that were the bases of our decisions.…


Added by Grant D Goodvin on August 18, 2016 at 4:13pm — No Comments

What Family Business Can Teach Social Entrepreneurs - by Tom Lumpkin and Sophie Bacq

Family businesses, as it turns out, have a number of things in common with social enterprises. Both have a need to thrive economically, but are also motivated by non-economic goals such as helping others and enriching their communities. Both must deal with short-term decisions and demands, but many are guided by a long-term orientation that also influences decision making and action. Relative to nonfamily firms, both face the challenge of aligning the varied and sometimes divergent interests…


Added by Tom Lumpkin on October 27, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

Best Advice to a Family Business? Seek Outside Advice!

“In the multitude of counselors (Advisors) there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

There is safety in numbers. We have all heard this before. However, it is not entirely true. The safety comes from being with the right people, those who can lift us up, teach us, guide us, and lead us. When we trust the people around us, and they trust us, that is where the safety is found.

In your family business, you have had success because you know your business, your customers, your industry,… Continue

Added by Edward J. Hart on October 26, 2014 at 2:05pm — No Comments

The fabric of successful business families: Emotional roulette or emotional compass?

    “The rise and fall of the House of Seagram”, “Dethroning the King : The hostile takeover of Anheuser-Busch”, “Steinberg: The breakup of a family empire” or “Gucci Wars”, to cite a few, are documented storytelling books about the successes and failures of business families. Standalone from the actual facts, what strikes the reader most is the key role played by emotions in defining or shaping the family and…


Added by Rania Labaki on October 22, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Are You Getting the Message Across? Tips for Avoiding the Common Pitfalls of Familial Miscommunication

One of the fascinating things about working with family businesses is discovering how different all families are, each one special and challenging in its own way. Despite the seemingly unique set of challenges presented by each family I have worked with, in almost every case there lurks an issue with miscommunication at its root. Here, I take a look at some of the most common examples of familial miscommunication and provide some ideas for their remedy…


My first example is…


Added by Phoebe Clark on October 17, 2014 at 11:16am — No Comments

Lessons from History. Families in Business? First, Families in Society... if you want to endure

Lessons from History: Families in Business? First, Families in Society if you want to endure, by Paloma Fernández Pérez, Universitat de Barcelona,

In recent business history books and articles about longevity and endurance of large family businesses in the world I have demonstrated that the oldest and largest family firms and groups are  in Japan and Germany, two countries that were devastated by world wars. Also,…


Added by paloma fernandez on October 8, 2014 at 5:19am — No Comments

Are your BANKING activities MAKING or COSTING you money? THINK about it...


By Levi G. Clock, Principal of Clockwork Financial

One of my favorite quotes is “You don’t know what you don’t know...” and I believe we’d all have to agree with that one.

If everything you thought you knew about money was actually not true, when would you want to know about it?

If you’re anything like me…the answer is right now!  So if that’s you… then take a short coffee break, sit back, and…


Added by Levi Clock on August 21, 2014 at 12:56pm — No Comments

The peculiar new generation

There have been numerous studies  by specialists dissecting the post World War II “baby boomers”, and the successive new comers in the second half of last century. From the hippies, Vietnam war protesters, generation X, Y and all the other  letters so I have  nothing else to add on that subject.

However starting with  the new Millennium and at least in my practice in Mexico and Latin America plus a few U.S. Hispanic owned family businesses,  my own family and numerous young sons and…


Added by Salo Grabinsky,MScIE, MBA on June 29, 2014 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Non-family employees in family firms: How to make them act entrepreneurially?

A main factor for the long-term success of family firms is entrepreneurial non-family employees. But a perennial and still unanswered question is: how can family firms make their non-family employees behave entrepreneurially, meaning that they recognize and explore entrepreneurial opportunities, that they develop and implement new ideas? That they think and act as if it would be “their” company?

One might intuitively think of making those employees actual co-owners of the family firm…


Added by Prof. Dr. Philipp Sieger on June 29, 2014 at 2:40pm — No Comments

Unique Entrepreneurial, Innovative, and Creative Characteristics Found in Continuity-Oriented Enterprising Families

Entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity! 

Colleges, universities, trade associations, speakers, authors, media, coaches, advisors, and peer groups such as Entrepreneurs Organization, Vistage, and Young Presidents Organization all endorse the positive impact of entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative values and practices.   Competitive advantage in today’s market place relies on it.

For many years, multigenerational business owners resisted considering their…


Added by Kim Schneider Malek on June 21, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Getting Back to Center

We work with our clients to help them with change, with whatever the change may be. It could be succession, it could be wealth planning, it could be cultivating leadership -- whatever it is, it is change. When change is introduced, regardless of what that modification may be, emotions are heightened. The intensity can skew positive (excitement) or negative (dread), but either way, the automatic tendency for people in such situations is to become reactive to other family members and to other… Continue

Added by Deb Houden on June 19, 2014 at 6:46pm — No Comments

Confronting the Fair and Equal Dilemma for Families in Business

One of the challenges facing the senior generation (generally the parents) for families in business is how to be fair to younger generations (generally the children and their spouses) in distribution of the estate.  Families in business typically own various assets, ranging from highly liquid personal accounts to real estate and family business stock.  The equal division of personal accounts can generally be accomplished without dissension in the family.  However, even an equal distribution…


Added by Grant D Goodvin on June 16, 2014 at 2:40pm — No Comments

New Article, "All in the Family"

A new article called, "All in the Family" just came out in Wheat Life Magazine.  

Check it out.

Dave Specht

Added by Dave Specht on April 21, 2014 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Do you know the daughters in the family businesses you advise? Do they know YOU?

I recently attended a meeting with a few daughters who work in their family’s business, along with some of their family members.  We were seated at a table together, and just before the program began, a tall, distinguished looking man sat down with us.  I had no idea who he was, but suddenly one of the daughters got up and hugged the man, and her aunt greeted him warmly as well.  Just as I was wondering who he was and what prompted the hug, the daughter announced, with a degree of affection…


Added by Amy J. Katz on April 9, 2014 at 12:19pm — No Comments

A Thought Experiment: Family Business and Upside Down Thinking

As I was considering what to write for this blog, it occurred to me that the key themes important to family businesses are well documented and frequently explored: succession, leadership, governance etc etc. The theory underpinning family business systems is now developed to such an extent that it is difficult to propose something completely new or fresh...But the blog format begs for something embryonic, an idea not yet fully formed. So…


Added by Alexandra Sharpe on February 7, 2014 at 3:33am — No Comments

3 Ways a Family Business Can Endure

According to the Family Business Institute, only 30 percent of family businesses survive beyond the founder’s generation. From there the odds of survival only get worse: only 12 percent make it to the third generation, and a paltry 3 percent persevere into the fourth.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a variety of things families can do to ensure their businesses thrive from generation to generation. Here are three factors to consider.

Have a Plan



Added by Jeffrey A. Campbell on February 5, 2014 at 1:50pm — No Comments

A Family Business Carol

   Over the recent holiday, I was watching a film version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In this popular tale, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited on Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The Ghosts take Scrooge on a journey showing him what has been, what is, and what may be. Upon awaking the following day, Scrooge has completely transformed, reset his priorities and beliefs, and dramatically altered his behavior. This story…


Added by Keith Brigham on February 4, 2014 at 10:33am — No Comments

The Two Sides of Succession Planning

Succession is a make-or-break circumstance for a family business.  A leadership transition can be fraught with emotion and complicated by difficult family relationships.  In order to defy statistics and last beyond only one or two generations of family ownership, family businesses must be prepared for this important transition and invest in the structures, systems, and resources to maintain profitability and ensure longevity.  

A successful family business leadership…


Added by Jacqueline Thompson on February 2, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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