Tag Archives: Ward

Siblings to Cousins: Ownership Goals for Growth, Risk, Profitability and Liquidity

In the transition from siblings to cousins, families are often called to define the ownership role for the very first time. In earlier stages, a relatively small family allows for more direct involvement of family owners in business operations and … Continue reading

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Questions Students Ask Most

by John L. Ward For the past few years we’ve kept track of the questions most often asked by MBA students who come from business-owning families. Would you suggest any other pivotal questions? Should I join my parents’ business? Culturally, … Continue reading

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Case Study: Heineken as a Family Business

by John L. Ward I had occasion to hear a talk by the Chairman/CEO of Heineken, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer.  So much of what he said reaffirmed our observations and experiences. First, some context, then our shared views. Heineken is about … 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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The Ford Family as Owners

by John L. Ward Friend and colleague Amy Schuman urged me to read American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company (by Bryce Hoffman, 2012). It’s a compelling and captivating story of a dramatic turnaround. It’s … Continue reading

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Knowing Your History is (Psychologically) Valuable!

by John L. Ward Emory University research professor Marshall Duke and colleagues show the value of children knowing the family history. The benefits? Better functioning family; More resilient children; Higher self-esteem of children, and More self-confidence and self-competence for them. … 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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Building the Long-Term Orientation

by John L. Ward In a previous blog I wrote of recent research by Professors Lupkin and Brigham that offered clues to what Long-Term Orientation (LTO) means and how to see it in key prospective hires. Their three ingredients to … Continue reading

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Managing as if the Future Mattered: What to Look for in Non-Family Executives and Board Members

by John L. Ward It’s generally believed that “the long-term view” is the most valuable and most emphasized competitive advantage of family firms. If so, it seems critical that board members and executives share that perspective – otherwise there could … Continue reading

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Family Owners and/or Managers?

by John L. Ward 52% say that the next generation will be owners and managers 24% say next generation family will own but not manage 7% are currently owned by family but not managed by family A recent survey[1] by … Continue reading

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