Tag Archives: innovation

Does Your Leadership Inspire Others?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams Entrepreneurial leaders encourage entrepreneurial behavior and innovation in all that they do, which enables others to see … Continue reading

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Innovation and Risk Taking – Everything in Moderation

Family businesses tend to pursue incremental opportunities rather than radical new innovations.  Growing by incremental innovation steps has proven to be more sustainable than giant leaps of change.  This incremental approach is prevalent partly because family businesses are less prone … Continue reading

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The Power of Mistakes

Nobody likes to make mistakes – but avoiding mistakes at all costs may be a big mistake… First, everyone will make mistakes – you cannot realistically avoid this.  Living in a bubble, making no decisions and generally staying away from … Continue reading

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Family Business Innovation: Doing Less; Doing it Better

by John Ward A recent academic article[1] explored what’s known about innovation in family firms. My conclusion is: Family firms do it less and do it better.  (The article focused on technological innovation – not ownership or leadership or management … Continue reading

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Using History as a Leadership Tool

By John L. Ward Business historians John Seaman and George David Smith wrote a superb article for Harvard Business Review (December 2012) that has particularly great value for family business leaders. Wise leaders can use their company’s history for many benefits: Create … Continue reading

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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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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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Innovation vs. sticking to your knitting: another family business paradox

In a yesterday’s post, I shared a lesson from a study of large, old, successful family businesses – innovation is a key to success.  But, while companies in this study demonstrated an ability to innovate, they also clearly recognize their core … Continue reading

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Workplace Spirituality

Workplace spirituality has continued to gain acceptance as a topic of study in B-schools across the country, presumably with application to practice within organizations. Though it may have been initially viewed as a passing fad, it now seems to have … Continue reading

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