The Burden of Legacy

“the night before closing the deal. My brother and I sat in a car in the parking lot outside the office building and reflected about whether we failed in carrying on the legacy”

Many family businesses are caught in the dilemma of whether to pass along the business to the next generation or sell the business. The senior generation needs to plan for retirement and feel confident that the younger generation can run the business, and the younger generation has to decide whether they want to stay involved or move on to a different career . Unfortunately, most of the time the family legacy affects the decision.  This legacy can become a burden and lead to a demise of the business if the succession plan includes a younger generation who is continuing on for the sake of the legacy of the founders rather than following their true ambitions.

In our family business, our parents removed the legacy issue as an issue, by 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…