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Strategy & Management

Current thinking on strategic and managment theories and how they apply to the multi-generational family enterprise.

Families of wealth are constantly looking for the secret to proliferating their fortunes over multiple generations. A key element is right before our eyes, the family’s generations.

For members of a family enterprise, succession can trigger strong feelings of anxiety, apprehension, or ambivalence.

As practitioners we encounter gender-related issues regularly as we help business families plan for the future ownership and leadership of their enterprises.

Whereas existing research on the longevity of family firms has focused on the survival of firms, this article investigates transgenerational entrepreneurship of families.

This is a simple adage, which, despite its universal application, is identified more with the mutual fund industry than with general philosophical statements.

Managing any business involves many challenges. But managing a family business brings with it a unique set of challenges, many due to the close emotional relationships involved.

For families in business nothing is more challenging than succession. Part of the problem is that succession is a multi-disciplinary task, involves multiple stakeholders, and is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge for most entrepreneurs. So, where to start when dealing with succession? Here is an attempt towards filling this gap – a six step process for practitioners to consider when developing a succession plan for a small to mid-sized firm. Clarifying the goals and priorities Both incumbent and successor have to clarify their goals and priorities with regard to succession. For the incumbent

Usually the most prized thing that we as established practitioners lose is our creativity. Once a niche is carved and sustained over decades of hard work, inevitably, at some point in time, complacency sets in.

Practitioners and family enterprise clients short circuit all the time in succession planning. That doesn’t mean that the advisor/client relationship breaks down – although sometimes sparks do fly.

As family advisors, we know the drill. We are called to the scene and get down to investigating what happened. There is smoke and despair in the air. Porcelain has been shattered.

Thanks to today’s author, Bruce Walton, for his blog on a topic not often covered in The Practitioner — recruiting non-family senior executives, primarily at the CEO or COO level.

Some topics are always current, succession and transition being among them. Thanks to this week’s author, Glenn Murray, for addressing the topic from a holistic approach.

Thanks to Ricardo Mejia of SALADEJUNTAS in Colombia for his interview with Roger Martin, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Thinkers50 award winner for Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works.

According to the Financial Times, the award Thinkers50 is the Oscar of the management world. The award follows two simple principles: To promote new ideas whose power is enough to improve the world.

The concept of “Hypercompetition,”[1] which Richard D'Aveni, professor of business strategy at the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, introduced in his book with the same title, is changing industries and business practices, especially management of family firms.

Succession planning is a term many advisors use to describe their services when marketing products and services to family enterprise clients. Under the label of “succession planning,” clients are presented with different products, services and outcomes, often resulting in confusion.

Thanks to Sally Derstine, senior family business advisor with the Delaware Valley Family Business Center, for the following blog on “Transforming to a Family of Adults: A foundation for healthy generational transitions”.

(Authors: Oliver Meier and Guillaume Schier) Research Applied précis prepared by Ken McCracken, KPMG LLP.

(Authors: Alfredo De Massis, Philipp Sieger, Jess H. Chua, and Silvio Vismara) Research Applied précis prepared by Navneet Bhatnagar, Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India.

(Authors: John James Cater III, Roland E. Kidwell, and Kerri M. Camp) Research Applied précis prepared by Barbara Dartt, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.