In this issue
Each business family has its own culture, strengths, idiosyncrasies, points of contention and shared history. That’s why each family must do its own work to develop policies and processes — a structure built on the foundation of someone else’s family values probably won’t work for your family.
Even so, there are certain essential principles that generally apply to multigenerational business families who aspire to be conscientious stewards of their entrepreneurial legacy.
If you’re just beginning to investigate how to manage issues at the nexus of family and business, you may have encountered some terminology that’s unfamiliar to you. We provide some definitions and explanations here.
This glossary is adapted from a longer version that is distributed to attendees at Family Business Magazine’s Transitions conferences. The version presented here also includes some additional definitions.
Forty-one years ago, Renato Tagiuri and I were looking for a framework to categorize the issues, interests and concerns voiced by Tagiuri’s executive students, most of whom led family companies. It was 1978, and I was a first-year doctoral student. Tagiuri was a faculty member in a Harvard Business School executive program and had invited me to be his research assistant.
Until a little more than a century ago, the term “family business” was redundant, because every family was also an economic unit. Children were taught their parents’ trade and were expected to make it their career. The family business would often last for generations, but the family would not expect it to grow.
Mike Perry has been appointed president and CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc. Perry will succeed Don Hall Jr., who will become executive chairman of the Kansas City, Mo., company. Hall’s brother Dave Hall will become executive vice chairman.
When Family Business Magazine debuted in 1989, business leaders who had grown their companies after returning from World War II service were passing the baton to their baby boomer children. Today, those baby boomers are ceding leadership to their own kids.
This 30th anniversary issue of Family Business has been a delight to put together. Our editorial team, led by Barbara Spector, has done an excellent job of highlighting how the field of family business expertise has advanced over the past 30 years and has masterfully spotlighted 30 families who have made exceptional progress in governance. Our team could have easily included hundreds more families, and choosing only 30 proved challenging.
A company anniversary, like a wedding anniversary, offers a chance to reflect on the past and plan for the future.
Mannington Mills, based in Salem, N.J., and IDEAL Industries, headquartered in Sycamore, Ill., both celebrated a century in business in 2016. Mannington Mills manufactures commercial and residential flooring. IDEAL Industries makes tools and supplies for the electrical and telecommunications industries. Each company is still owned by the founder’s descendants.