Family Business Wiki's Town Square

Family Business Wiki's TOWN SQUARE

All Blog Posts (369)

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

Unintended Consequences of Shared Ownership

I recently had an article about shared ownership published in Successful Farming Magazine. While the magazine is focused on agriculture, the issues with shared ownership cross industries. 

I'd love your feedback.  Here is the link.

Dave Specht

Pursuer of Inspired Questions (…


Added by Dave Specht on January 13, 2014 at 2:15pm — No Comments

Cuestión de ‘género’


Rodrigo Basco

No podía dejar de escribir algunas ideas sobre la mujer en la sucesión de la empresa familiar. No solamente es un tema complicado sino que también es un tema delicado ya que puede tocar…

Added by Rodrigo Basco on December 23, 2013 at 3:00am — No Comments

Don't Let "Fault Lines" in the Family Business Become Earthquakes

Moving tectonic plates on the surface of the earth have and will always cause fault lines.  These points of convergence and pressure are inevitable and can cause earthquakes at a large scale.


Due to divergent desires and changing personal situations of family members, such points of convergence and pressure can be found in families-in-business and can cause inevitable fault lines.  Unlike geological faults, however, active steps can be taken in a family business to prevent…


Added by Donald Levitt on December 17, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments


Philanthropy initiatives lead by successful businessmen and entrepreneurs have been emerging across the globe lately, and the media highlight these cases regularly. Philanthropy is a positive and a much needed instrument for society as a whole, on account of the increasingly complex challenges to society which are sometimes neglected by the public sector.


As I think about these challenges that the world is encountering today, I become more and more interested and fervent…


Added by Neus Feliu Costa on December 3, 2013 at 2:00am — No Comments

At the heart of succession: Awareness from within

At the heart of succession: Awareness from within

Succession processes are full of challenges and have potentially far-reaching consequences – not only for present and future owners, but also for society at large. Consequently, they receive intense attention from researchers, consultants and policy makers alike. While I do agree on the importance and urgency of the topic, it tends, in my view, to be approached from too rationalistic, and in relation to present and future…


Added by Annika HALL on December 1, 2013 at 10:53am — No Comments

Family Business Governance and the Board – Some Prescriptions on Composing and Using the Board

While family businesses have conceivably been around ever since human beings started living in communities and began benefiting from gains of specialization and trading, the attention on family business governance as a formal topic is only about 25 years old.  Prior to the formal recognition of family businesses as a distinct organizational form, governance has been thought of as an issue that is of importance primarily for non-family businesses, especially those where there is a separation…


Added by Sanjay Goel on November 29, 2013 at 4:32am — No Comments

FBN (Family Business Network) - Family businesses, a model for the future

If family businesses stay the course in a difficult economic context and through crisis, that is because the measure of time means generations and not short term goals for them.

But one leader to another, from one generation to the next, the company must adapt to their environment to survive and grow, the family should be able to decide the right course. The new generations must be able to integrate in harmony . These issues are complex. The secret of a successful transmission is the…


Added by Caroline Mathieu on November 26, 2013 at 3:00am — No Comments

Radical Changes as Threat and Opportunity for Family Businesses

Every once in a while industries become disrupted. Newcomers from outside the industry begin to commercialize products that are based on a novel technology, have fundamentally different product features or are built on a distinct business model. Established companies typically have problems with adopting such new technologies. As a consequence, they often lose market shares when the innovation becomes mainstream. Look back on Kodak’s prior dominance in the photography market, for instance.…


Added by Nadine Kammerlander on November 25, 2013 at 8:40am — No Comments

Inspired Questions for Defining Family Wealth

Dear Family Business Friends,

My new mobile app, Inspired Questions was just released this week.  I am really excited to get feedback from you, my peers.  Here are some of the features.  

This app provides 100 Inspired Questions that can be used as dinner table conversation starters, family meeting facilitation questions, and a social media component that allows sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Messaging and E-mail. 




Added by Dave Specht on November 22, 2013 at 1:00am — No Comments

Succession Planning With Bite: Strategic Business Development for Long-Term Sustainability

When it comes to succession planning, your attorney, accountant and financial planner can help you to transfer ownership, management and wealth to the next generation. But all of this is for naught if the underlying business is not healthy and growing. And far too many family businesses, by the second or third generation, are selling “the same old products to the same old customers” – and becoming more moribund by the day. This is where “the rubber meets the road” in succession planning.…


Added by Gary M. Giallonardo on October 14, 2013 at 6:20pm — No Comments

¿Es la empresa familiar innovadora? El Consejero Independiente tiene algo que decir...

¿Qué elementos propios del carácter familiar pueden influir en la apuesta o la aversión por la innovación? Dado el carácter estratégico que la innovación representa para la compañía, el papel del Consejo de Administración se aparece como crítico, y esto nos lleva a profundizar en los aspectos concretos de este órgano de gobierno que influyen en la orientación innovadora de la empresa.

En un exitoso intento de profundizar en la implicación de la estructura de propiedad familiar en la…


Added by Jesús Negreira del Río on October 9, 2013 at 7:40am — No Comments

Defining a Family Business under the laws of the UAE: Challenges

Defining a Family Business under the laws of the UAE: Challenges


Family business research and statistics is riddled with methodological issues, not least when determining what constitutes a family business. Whether it be in relation to ownership, control or management, countless factors are overlooked, creating inherent flaws in many definitions.  The UAE is no different. To this day, defining a family business…


Added by Walid S. Chiniara on October 5, 2013 at 2:25am — No Comments

Mediation, a factor of sustainability for family businesses?

Family businesses have become a hot topic all over Europe, probably because they appear as an interesting model compared to widely held firms. Indeed, they seem to have specific characteristics that are answers to what a wide consensus today recognizes as the reasons for the crisis the occidental economies are going through.

Yet media frequently report dramatic conflicts which sometimes lead to a strengthening of the family shareholding, but more often than not to muddled sales which…


Added by Tandeau de Marsac on October 4, 2013 at 2:04pm — No Comments


Entrepreneurship and its integral component, innovation, are of vital importance for family enterprises in adapting to today's dynamic market environment. Increasing competitiveness, globalization and growing marketplace demands make developing an entrepreneurial culture an essential ingredient for success in the economy. No family firm can afford an attitude of passivity if it seeks to survive through multiple generations.

Although family firms are widely recognized as a major source…


Added by Rick Raymond on October 2, 2013 at 3:56pm — No Comments

Family business succession planning - Why relationships are an important asset to hand over

Family businesses are crucial to the welfare of economies around the world. In order to ensure continuity and sustain their growth, family businesses have to adopt best practices in terms of transparency and corporate governance. But contrary to public companies corporate governance is not the only pillar in the governance system of the family businesses. In addition to corporate governance they must establish a family…


Added by Dr. Hischam A. El Agamy on September 30, 2013 at 12:11pm — No Comments

Oneness is Not Something You Turn on with a Switch

A dear friend recently sent me an email under the title “Legendary Basketball Coach on Team Building”.  As I opened the message, I thought to myself, “Oh no, not another sports’ reference about team leadership.” 


Then, I read the quote:  “Basketball is a great mystery.  You can do everything right.  You can have the perfect mix of talent and the best system of offense in the game.  You can devise a foolproof defensive strategy and prepare your players for every possible…


Added by Katherine Grady on September 27, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

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