Keeping the Family Business Innovative

“either be at the table, or be on the menu”

Turning a family farm into an amusement park, a funeral home that doubles as a wedding chapel, or a furniture store that has an IMAX theater. Even the most ordinary businesses can be innovative.

To keep the business growing past the initial wave of success you have to try new things. You have to remain entrepreneurial and keep innovating. Staying still is no longer an option. It’s especially challenging in a family business where the founder is the idea person and the younger generation has to inherit these skills.  More…

We’ll Never Do That Again: Taking the Temperature of Your Family Business Culture

We thought we had pretty thick skin until we received responses from our Employee Opinion Survey.

When was the last time you asked your employees how they thought things were going? We had just come off an unsuccessful union organizing drive in our family business by a small faction of disgruntled employees. Even though the union wasn’t voted in, it made us aware of some employee issues that needed attention to improve the culture of our company.

When the labor issue was over, part of the healing process was how to move forward and mend relations with the affected employees. We had hired an outside labor management firm to guide us through the unionizing campaign. The management firm used two tools to evaluate the employee sentiment. The first was a comprehensive wage survey to benchmark our wages against other companies in the area.  More…