Monthly Archives: November 2011

Growing up with downsizing

Do you sometimes think of the ‘good old days’ when you started in your family business with lots of business opportunities and a growing economy? As your children’s generation is starting their career in business life – things are very … Continue reading

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Do business owning families give adequate thanks?

Thanksgiving Day here in the States is this Thursday.  It is a time where we celebrate and give thanks for all of the good things we have in our lives. Interestingly, in my early work with business owning families, field … Continue reading

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Special Culture Stories

by John L. Ward  The oldest working employee just retired – at 102!  He worked for three generations of the Annixter family in Chicago. More than 50 years.  His presence and contributions were acclaimed. A mid-sized family company in Thailand … Continue reading

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Mixing It Up Around the Family Business Dinner Table

Every year at this time, the beginning of the Holiday season brings both increased opportunity for quality family time, and increased risk that mixing family and business discussions will result in added family stress. Our souls are nourished by connecting … Continue reading

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Some Thoughts About Trust

Many people have written about trust in human relationships. I have collected some quotes on the topic and list some of my favorites below: Our distrust is very expensive. –Ralph Waldo Emerson The only way to make a man trustworthy … Continue reading

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When Trust Has Been Broken

No matter how well intentioned, family relationships can sometimes go awry and trust can be broken. There is no simple solution to rebuilding trust, but here are some guidelines: If you have violated another party’s trust, you must admit that … Continue reading

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Three Attributes of Trust

Working well together, sharing assets fairly, planning collaboratively for the future – these are among the most critical tasks of an enterprising family. They all have in common a fundamental basis in trust. In my experience, families who are able … Continue reading

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Contingency Planning

Contingency planning is important, but difficult to get excited about. Consider the true story of a man (we’ll call him John) who built a healthcare business from nothing into a $300 million conglomeration of facilities and operations in 6 different … Continue reading

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The Novocain of Diplomacy

On a morning not long ago, while sitting in the dentist’s chair for my first (and please, please, please last) root canal, I was reminded of the importance of communication style. “Dr. Payne” (or as my kids call him, Dr. Thick … Continue reading

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The road to ruin is paved with good intention – What it takes to be the company’s next leader – Part 3 of 3

  In our line of work, it is common for one family member to describe another family member in less than glowing fashion.  We hear a lot, no make that A LOT, of descriptions by one member of another that … Continue reading

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