T.S. Eliot was a famed twentieth-century British poet known for insightful quotes. My personal favorite is: “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.”
About Richard Segal
Rick Segal is the principal at Segal Consulting. He holds an Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising with a Fellows status from the Family Firm Institute. Rick is the founder of the Family Business Council and its affiliated study group. Reach Rick at [email protected] or by visiting www.segalconsulting.biz
Entries by Richard Segal
It was a crisis! The holidays were in full bloom when the family received the news of a potentially fatal prognosis due to a rare disease.
Few issues are more difficult to navigate in a family business than the role of in-laws, or out-laws for that matter. In either case, they are relatives by someone else’s choice. Hopefully we all make good choices for partners, but what’s good for you might not be good for others. On the other hand, your […]
There is no relationship in life longer than that of siblings. And, like today’s families, sibships come in all shapes and sizes. The classic nuclear family has diminished in the past decades, due to divorce, remarriage and parenting out of wedlock. So now we have more half-sibs, step-sibs and sibs by adoption. In addition, second […]
Let’s start by defining a family business. The classic definition is a business where a single-family lineage has ownership control, is active in management and involves multiple generations. But some of those boundaries have become blurred. What about blended families? How about publicly traded companies? Would siblings who used “family money” for startup capital fit? […]
Family businesses are a difficult balancing act. Best practices offer a path to a successful business and family harmony for generations to come.
Here’s the thing…good planning avoids conflict. But, good planning is much more than asset allocation. Advisors implore their clients to plan for the future. They often use disturbing techniques like horror stories of deplorable outcomes due to a lack of planning. Usually the disturbing track is about a loss of money either to the tax […]
Every leader surrounds themselves with advisors. We have all had mentors throughout our lives whose lessons have given us our ethics, values and acumen. Whether it be a parent, teacher, clergy or Dutch Uncle, our mentors have shaped our abilities to think, reason and solve. If we are fortunate enough to have some of those […]
Ignoring the family dynamics in a family business will lead to ultimate disaster. Families that do well over the long haul in business recognize the need for balance.
Conflict in a family business needs to be addressed and managed before it is allowed to dominate poor governance and ultimately destroy the business. Using the conflict paradigm puts you on the road to resolution.
The accounting function of a business should measure more than profit and equity once a year. It should provide a service for management to help determine how money was made and how equity can be increased.
You should eliminate the phrase “it’s not personal” from your repertoire. Adding objectivity in your best practices will help eradicate this false communication.
Exploring the “keep or sell’ dilemma prior to the decision will help manage any impending conflict. Establishing the benefits of a sale for all stakeholders, and executing a deal that fulfills those expectations will go a long way to maintain family harmony.
Family business research provides a helpful tool by which to measure your company. Being aware how other family enterprises navigate the potentially turbulent waters can only make you smarter – and taking appropriate action makes you wiser.
Have you ever wondered how succession looks through the eyes of the successor – or successors? Plenty has been written about “how to” for the exiting seniors, but little has been said about how this looks and feels from the next generation in a family enterprise.
Sibling rivalries can leave families ruined and businesses destroyed. To avoid sibling rivalry overdose, families and businesses need to establish “best practices.”
Regardless of how your business was formed, or what your family system looks like, the family dynamics, culture, traditions and personality will permeate the business. As a family business you should embrace that and make the family and the company better because of it.
Some see the family business as a golden goose whose eggs they harvest and pawn, but want to take no responsibility for the health of the goose. Consultant Richard Segal explains how to develop good practices and maintain family harmony while working together toward common goals.
If good boundaries are established and maintained, then the typical borders that cause family business war – love, hate, greed and jealousy – will remain good reading in novels and not be the basis for real life soap operas.
Finding the point where the family decides that the business is not for sale is the point when things begin to change. Family business expert Richard Segal shares how families and businesses can grow with success.
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