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

Newsletters strengthen family members' connection to each other and the business.

By Barbara Spector

No matter how well your relatives bond at family meetings, these gatherings have limitations. If your family is large and dispersed, it's impractical to meet more than once a year and, inevitably, some family members won't make it to the meeting.

Though there's no substitute for face-to-face encounters, family newsletters can be an effective way of strengthening connections between meetings. Whether they're delivered electronically or in print, these communications keep attention focused on the extended family and its shared enterprise.

Carolyn Campbell Brown, chairperson of the Campbell Family Council and a director of her family business—Mannington Mills Inc., a flooring company based in Salem, N.J.—started a newsletter, "Campbell Connection," in 2014, the same year the family council was established.

"Does it move the needle? I think so," Brown says of the newsletter. "I do believe it improves communication so people better understand what's happening at Mannington." There are about 105 Campbell family members, about a third of whom are shareholders. Brown's brother, Keith Campbell, is the fourth-generation chairman of the company.

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Feature Video

EY's  Bobby Stover and Family Business magazine's Peter Begalla discuss how investing strategies have changed over the last five years, including how family offices are making deals on their own.