In this issue
Plan, professionalize, and grow the pie
Ernesto J. Poza
Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University
Keeping up with technology is at the top of the list of family business owners' greatest concerns for the coming decade. Going into the year 2000, more owners are also worrying about where they'll find qualified employees and how to attract and keep strong nonfamily managers. These are among the chief findings of a survey conducted this past summer to assess the challenges facing family businesses on the cusp of the new century.
In 1992, I became obsessed with designing our corporate structure into one that was a step ahead of the change curve. Rosenbluth International provides major corporations with sophisticated programs designed to lower their overall travel costs. Outside factors were undeniably penetrating our business. The economy was suffering. The Gulf War had a lasting effect on international travel. Our clients were restructuring and downsizing, and that, too, meant far fewer travelers. We needed to make a preemptive strike on these pressures before they affected our company.
How far along are you in planning for succession in your company? David Berdon & Co., a New York accounting firm, has compiled an inventory for family owned real estate firms that is designed to uncover points that, if overlooked, might jeopardize a smooth transition. The checklist will also be useful to other types of family firms wishing to devise an inventory applicable to their industry and top management functions. David Berdon has been providing accounting and management advisory services to real estate families for over eight decades.