Family Business Magazine Blog

A recent article in The Practitioner -- an online publication of the Family Firm Institute, an organization for professionals who advise and study family enterprises -- pointed out the difference between "firm survival over time" (continuity of a family business through the years) and "longevity of a family enterprise" (a family's ability to create wealth and value over generations).

The Practitioner article -- by Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration and a visiting scholar at Babson College -- argued that family enterprise success can be defined in ways other than leadership transfer from one generation to the next. "Both the creative destruction of firms and pruning of the enterprising family are integral parts of longevity of an enterprising family ....," Sharma wrote. "Recent reviews of the research on succession, governance, professionalization and performance all point in the same direction -- that one size does not fit all and the overarching numbers of ‘success' are insufficient to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of family enterprises and their pathways to success."

Family Business Magazine's cover subjects for May/June 2014, the Power family, sold J.D. Power and Associates to McGraw-Hill in 2005....Read more

Free Feature Article

The Transitions conference series, launched nine years ago, has brought business families together for networking, learning and sharing in a supportive, confidential environment.

Since Family Business launched the Transitions conference series in 2010, thousands of attendees have heard hundreds of family business members share their stories in honest and candid ways.

The idea behind Transitions, says Family Business publishing director David Shaw, was to “bring the magazine to life.

“We wanted to focus on having families as speakers to share successes and failures. The conference strives to give families solid takeaways to take back with them and implement themselves.”

The first conference, held in Celebration, Fla., in 2010, hosted just 93 participants. The concept caught on quickly, and a West Coast event was added the following year.

Charlotte Lamp, an owner of Port Blakely, a forestry and land development business based in Seattle, was a speaker at the first Transitions West conference. There, she got the idea to start a family education program from another family business that had operated in the same industry, Laird Norton Company.

“Their education program is called ‘Norton University’; we call ours ‘Eddy Academy.’ I stole that from them,” says Lamp, a third-generation member of the Eddy family,...Read more

Feature Video


Todd Immell, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP discusses robotics processing automation operating models for family offices. Final installment in a 4-part series.