Tag Archives: schmieder

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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Risk Taking in a Family Business

Research indicates that family firms take fewer risks compared to non-family firms. This lower risk-taking viewpoint has led to the myth that family firms are risk adverse.   Another conclusion is that family businesses take “safer” risks that are closely associated … Continue reading

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Why Do We Wait Until The Last Minute?

“We have a looming transition with no real plan.  Not sure why, but my father has just now decided he would like to get out of the day-to-day operations and sell the business to my brother and me before the … Continue reading

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Facing up to Difficult Family Business Issues

“Hey dad, could we talk about what Uncle Ted is doing to turn-around our construction division?”  asked Jerry Bates, third-generation family member working in the business as Vice President of Development.  His CEO father, Donald, replied:   “Sure son, we can … Continue reading

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The Ideal Family Business Leader part 2

As strong family business leaders juggle their many demands while balancing the needs of the business and the family, they also demonstrate these additional characteristics. 1.     Mentor & Role Model:  Nurtures, cultivates and develops family member talent as well as … Continue reading

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The Ideal Family Business Leader part 1

What is the make-up of an effective family business leader?  From my own observations and interactions with family business leaders for over 30 years, as well as listening to my FBCG colleagues who have worked with 2000 family businesses, I … 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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Teach Your Children Well, or the Value of Toilet Scrubbing…

“Let them eat cake,” proclaimed Marie Antoinette upon learning that the peasants in France had no bread.  Since brioche was enriched, as opposed to normal bread, the quote reflected the queen’s obliviousness to the nature of a famine.  This arrogant … Continue reading

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