Getting the Next Generation Ready to Run the Family Business

 by Dr. Patricia A. Frishkoff
Past Director, Austin Family Business Program, Oregon State University

You’ve built a successful business – let’s say it’s a nursery – and you hope to pass it on to the next generation.But you’ve seen succession fail, down the road and across town. So you wonder – why does the transition work in some family businesses, and not in others?As with nursery stock, success grows on strong roots.

Passion.Does the next generation perceive and understand the passion of the senior generation?

We used to visit businesses on our vacation trips when I was a child.That was due partly to our family farm: my Dad and Grandpa knew a lot of people, plus we really couldn’t afford to pay admission to amusement parks. I loved those visits.It was partly about the interesting work that the people did.But, it was more about the performance that the owner gave as he (sometimes she) showed us around.For the eyes, gestures and voices of those owners exuded passion – deep love for the business and their work.  More…

Working for Yourself

Dennis Jaffe

It is so easy to fall into the trap of working for your family’s business. It is always there, available, and easy to start. And like a drug, it can lull you into danger and self-delusion. After a while, you can begin to feel empty, unexpressed and less than alive; yet, because of the perks, and your own fear of life outside, you can begin to feel trapped.

It is not bad or wrong to choose to work for your family. It is dangerous. It is best to be aware of yourself while you work for your family. Here are several of the ways you can respect and develop yourself while working for your family. More…