Article Library



Telling Your Story to the American Public

Published May 30, 1996 Ivan Lansberg |

IN A FAMOUS laboratory experiment, a frog dropped into boiling water leaps from the beaker the instant it hits the scalding liquid. In the second condition of the experiment, the frog isn't quite so ...


Give Your Family Some Options

Published May 30, 1996 John O'Connor |

STOCK OPTIONS are a uniquely beneficial way to reward executives by allowing them to participate in corporate appreciation without an upfront cash outlay. Until recently, however, options have been c...


Strategy Before Succession

Published May 30, 1996 Jayne A. Pearl |

SUCCESSION PLANNING is all about a company's future. To ensure success in transferring company leadership to a new generation, the family members must first decide in what direction they want to go a...


Raising Your Daughter, the Next CEO

Published May 30, 1996 Ellen Frankenberg |

FAMILY COMPANIES may be the best possible laboratories for developing a new generation of female CEOs. Families in business together have to work harder at teamwork, especially in the sibling and cou...


Smart Growth

Published May 30, 1996 Shu Shu Costa |

WHEN HE WAS 47, Richard A. Lumpkin, hat in hand, marched into his father's office and changed the course of his family's business. Lumpkin, the fourth generation to hold the office of president of th...


Steering Safely Through the ERISA Minefield

Published May 30, 1996 Ann Longmore |

T0 BE COMPETITIVE with bigger firms, to attract and keep qualified employees, family companies have to offer some kind of benefits. The rules, however, often seem calculated to make it more difficult...


The Wise Use of Outside Advice

Published May 30, 1996 Samuel C. Johnson |

MORE FAMILY enterprises have gone astray through a lack of good advice than for any other single reason. Understand that the head of a family business receives plenty of suggestions; but as Ambrose B...


A Strategy That Puts You Back in the Driver's Seat

Published May 30, 1996 James G. Dickinson |

SEMINARS and newsletter articles on creating family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability corporations (LLCs) have become a true growth industry. I, too, favor the use of these legal enti...


Religious Extremism Can Hurt The Bottom Line

Published May 30, 1996 Leon Danco |

PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME have heard me speak often enough about the importance of love and faith to ensuring harmonious continuity in family businesses. To many business owners, their religious faith is a ...


Gambling with the Family Patrimony

Published March 30, 1996 Leon Danco |

Léon Danco I get upset when I hear a young potential successor, impatient to take over the family business, say, “Give me a shot at it.” To me, these words reveal a lack of risk-...


Talking the Talk, then Walking the Walk

Published March 30, 1996 John S. Powell |

Does your family have a plan for management succession? Forequity distribution? Have you communicated to your children your plans, expectations, personal values,and hopes for the future? Have you aske...


Your Impact on the Economy

Published March 30, 1996 Melissa Carey Shanker |

Most research on family businesses is less than 10 years old. There are few quantitative studies on how many family firms exist in the United States or their impact onthe U.S. economy. The lack of su...


Peaceful Resolutions

Published March 30, 1996 Ross Adams |

A brother and two sisters receive equal amounts of non-voting stock in their father’scorrugated box company after a 1980 preferred stock recapitalization. The siblings are constantlyarguing at ...


Perspectives on Going Public

Published March 30, 1996 Monica Wagen |

Going public is a move fraught with risk for many family business owners. Yet a surprising number have done it, greatly benefiting both their companies and their families. In the United States, initia...


Why Smart People Make Dumb Choices of Leaders

Published March 30, 1996 Ivan Lansberg |

The board of directors of Wang Laboratories opposed the choice of 36-year-old Frederick Wang as his father's successor in 1986. The computer manufacturer founded by China-born entrepreneur An Wang h...


So Who Needs Strategic Planning?

Published March 30, 1996 Henry Mintzberg |

Conventional planners are quick to condemn “management by crisis.” They prefer to picture managers as orchestra conductors, standing up there on the podium directing the whole system in controlled...


Equal Isn't Always Fair

Published March 30, 1996 Kelin E. Gersick |

Five years ago Adam Hutchison, age 64, decided to retire from hisreal estate business in Fairfield, Virginia. He had been president of New World Enterprises for 28years ever since his father-in-law&r...


What, Me Worry?

Published March 30, 1996 Sue Birley |

What arethe issues that give you nightmares?” That was the inquiryunderlying a 1995 survey of owners of the United Kingdom’s closely held businesses. The chiefexecutives were asked to con...


Making a Sibling Startup Work

Published March 30, 1996 Deanne Stone |

While onvacation in Italy back in 1983, Lee Gravely and her daughters,Frances and Susan, admired the dishes on which lunch was served in a hotel on the Amalfi coast. Avidcollectors of ceramic dinnerw...


The Cousins Tournament

Published November 30, 1995 Kelin E. Gersick |

At the Blanchard family's 1993 New Year's Eve party, Al Blanchard talks for the first time about retiring as president of Grandview Industries. Al, 67, is standing on the back porch of his rambling S...