Family Business Director’s Reading Roundup

Special Topics

Here at Family Business Director, we are focused on the numbers of family business: measuring and assessing financial performance, establishing dividend policy, setting capital structure, making capital budgeting decisions, and structuring shareholder redemptions.  We believe these topics are crucial, and that many of the conflicts that enterprising families experience are avoidable when these tasks are done well and communicated effectively to family shareholders.  In our experience, well-informed shareholders are engaged shareholders.

All that said, we also recognize that family business leaders face many other critical challenges.  In this week’s post, we provide a quick roundup of some of the best pieces we’ve come across recently dealing with management succession, governance, attitudes toward wealth, family relationships, board dynamics, and more.

  • Winning at management succession must be a priority for family businesses focused on long-term sustainability. In this article, John Ward and Stephen McClure of The Family Business Consulting Group offer a comprehensive list of 15 guidelines for family business succession.
  • Family businesses aren’t always great at drawing boundaries. Family and business tasks can become intertwined, and the burdens of family governance can fall on too few shoulders.  Marion McCollom Hampton and Nick DiLoreto of Banyan Global examine the effect of “Overloaded Structures” here.
  • The pandemic may be easing, but the use of virtual platforms for at least some family meetings is probably here to stay. Katelyn Husereau of CFAR offers some timely tips, tricks, and best practices for on-line family meetings here.
  • Inheriting wealth is very different from creating wealth. Coaching the next generation of the family on how to view, and become responsible stewards of, inherited wealth is a common concern of family business leaders.  In this article, Sarah Schlesinger of Continuity Family Business Consulting identifies six ways members of the rising generation can productively integrate wealth into their lives.
  • Genuine, healthy family relationships are based on solid connections among family members. Steve Legler writes about the need for enterprising families to look beyond the org chart to discern whether the right kind of human relationships are in place.  Check out Steve’s insights here.
  • Is your family business board having genuinely productive conversations featuring different perspectives, or does everyone just go along to get along? Allen Bettis explores the hidden costs of prioritizing artificial harmony in the board room in this article.
  • Speaking of boards, recruiting and retaining quality independent directors that can help guide your family business to the next level is an investment. Are your expectations regarding compensation for directors reasonable for today’s market?  Bertha Masuda, Bonnie Schindler, and Susan Schroeder of Compensation Advisory Partners summarize some key findings from their most recent survey on the topic here.

Happy reading!