Business Family Alignment – the Family Plan

Throughout the Western world, less than 5% of all family businesses survive the third generation curse:  “from shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations”.  The 5% that do make it through often proceed for many generations – in clear evidence that they’ve worked out and applied something really important to their family about sustainability […]

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Difficult Family Conversations – 10 Key Issues

Security: physical, emotional and financial, sit at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.  Situations that challenge your sense of personal security are therefore likely to create feelings of insecurity and discomfort, which is why many of us are reluctant to initiate conversations likely to start, or to become, difficult. The expectation that a […]

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Successful Successions in Family Business

Business Succession involves the transfer of Ownership, Leadership, Management and (sometimes) Employment, from one generation to another. The succeeding generation can be within the family, or not.  The objective is to transition the business from one generation to the next, so it can survive and be renewed.  Family Succession is another thing entirely, although the […]

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Family Conflict and Mediation – looking for “Uncle Bob”

Conflict (noun) = a form of protracted discord between individuals or groups. Conflict (verb) =  to clash emotionally, intellectually, materially or physically. Conflict is a form of energy that can be focussed, or unfocussed, on its inbound and outbound course.   Active families constantly generate relationship conflict through their interactions.  Active businesses constantly engage in competitive […]

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Best Practice in Family Business

“Best practice is a technique or methodology proven by experience and research to lead reliably to an optimal result”.  So, if we implement and support Best Practice in our family business we should enjoy success – whatever that means for our business family and for our family’s business. In an “ordinary” business the key measures […]

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Difficult Older People & Behaviour Change

We’re seeing increasing numbers of older business owners struggling with the fundamental concept (let alone the required actions!) of family and business succession, and with the challenges of “refiring, not retiring” – as they contemplate living for many years after “finishing” their main work.  That work has often been at the centre of their lives, […]

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10 Wisdoms for Successful Succession

The succession process has been fraught with issues and complications since biblical times.  It’s been the subject matter of stories and dramas for as long as we’ve had the recorded word, and will undoubtedly continue to do so.  When a business is also involved, the stakes ramp up enormously because, as well as personal and […]

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Do “fossilised” owner/parents threaten the survival of their own family businesses?

      An increasing number of family business owners are now past their best decision-making days. With many over 70 years of age they are fossilising on the job, risking the survival of their businesses and families, and the jobs and families of the employees who depend on them. This is not a criticism […]

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Parenting Styles and Family Business

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap” Recent conversations with other family business advisers confirm increasing exposure to business families with serious “fossilisation” issues. Naming no names, the problem seems most prevalent in families with seriously aged founder/owners (70 and 80-year-olds) from traditional European backgrounds.  However, they don’t own all of this space – it’s […]

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Succession – are we missing the point of the economic challenge?

I think we’re missing the point.  I’ve just attended, and presented, at yet another seminar on “Succession Planning” where, as usual, almost everyone talked about:  maximising the value of the business for sale;  tax and asset structures;  insurance;  financing the deal and buy/sell agreements. Don’t get me wrong – they were all good sessions – […]

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