Monthly Archives: December 2011

Innovation in Family Business: Capturing the entrepreneurial spirit and ambition of the younger generation

Rick DeVos, a 28-year-old highly-entrepreneurial third-generation family member, wanted to create some new business ventures that did not fit into the current family business.  His parents wanted to encourage their son’s entrepreneurial spirit yet ground him in business reality. Entrepreneurism … Continue reading

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Warren Buffet’s Successor: A Soybean Farmer!

Howard Buffet is Warren Buffet’s 56 year old son, and works as a corn and soybean farmer in Nebraska. Warren Buffet has recommended to the board that Howard succeed him as Chair after his retirement. You might question this choice. … Continue reading

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How Do You Find the ‘Merry’ in Your Family Christmas?

Family members that work together spend many days of the year dealing with business challenges, some of which have been particularly difficult since 2009. Then the holidays arrive and for some, the thought of spending Christmas together presents additional stress. … Continue reading

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Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door!

Really.  Does that happen?  Certainly. Family businesses show a high propensity to continuously innovate.  One family business expanded its trash business to capture the methane gas in their landfills.  Energy is now nearly half the family’s business. And some family … Continue reading

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How Innovative is Your Family Business?

Would you characterize your family business as innovative?  Can you think of an innovation that has helped strengthen the business or the family? Back in 1961 a few doctors doing research at the University of Florida developed the formula for … Continue reading

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Family Business: Inefficient or simply caring?

Sometimes you see two news items on the same day and they seem to really underscore the differing views that some may hold about family owned business…  In fact, I recently read about an article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, … Continue reading

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IT’S NOT JUST FAMILY SUCCESSORS THAT FIND IT TOUGH TO FOLLOW FOUNDERS

Research pointing to the fact that family businesses outperform their non-family peers have also shown that performance in subsequent generations of family businesses does not tend to be as strong as it is in the founder generation.  In a Forbes … Continue reading

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Alternatives to selling the family business

In a recent program for business owning families one participant asked what the options are when the next generation may not be interested in taking over leadership of the business – but may not want to sell either.  Are there … Continue reading

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Family Business Values Reaffirmed at McKinsey

by John L. Ward McKinsey, the acclaimed consultancy, has been much in the news recently, because of an insider trading scandal.  (See a terrific article in The Financial Times, November 26.) Reflecting on the great history of success and current … Continue reading

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