In this issue
Confidential information, like toothpaste, can’t be retrieved once it’s out of the tube. On the other hand...
Every business has its secrets. Family businesses have more than most. Which information should be treated as confidential? With whom should it be shared? Will you spread panic among employees by sharing information with them? Will you spread distrust by withhholding information?
In the following two cases, owners thought they made the right decision. In both cases the decision backfired, but the owners learned valuable lessons in the long run.
Something extra for the family
Ira Greenberg, President
Promotions Unlimited Corp.
Public service is a family business, again. With the restoration of the Bush family to residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on January 20 came references to the Adams family, the Roosevelts and the Kennedys. But the tableau of the inauguration ceremony that graced the front page of the New York Times the next day provided a much broader perspective on the return of families to political prominence.
Three solutions for the toughest job of all: transmitting family assets.
Sometimes parents lie awake at night, struggling to decide how to be “fair” to their children. They understand the differences in their sons' and daughters' contributions to the family business all too well: the responsible eldest son, who works at least until 3 p.m. every Saturday; the middle daughter, who charms the party but misses work the next day; and the youngest, who was lucky to get a GED but now is the brilliant webmaster for the company's new e-commerce strategy.