Happy Families

Happy Families

by Michael Carp and Keren Ludski
Kez’s Kitchen

Our business started out as a paying hobby – we didn’t even know what the running costs were! But as Kez’s Kitchen quickly grew into a serious venture involving many more members of the family, we were determined not to let rifts or arguments over money or hiring and firing issues ruin our lives and get in the way of success. So we set up a Family Council and appointed an independent Chairman of the Board. We haven’t looked back. None of us initially had any skills to run a business and we would have “drowned” if we hadn’t made these decisions.

Michael was the logical choice as CEO with his business and legal background and Keren says there is no-one else she would rather trust in the job. Our mother wanted to scale back her involvement in the business and Keren was planning to have more children. Despite having founded the business, Keren didn’t want the day-to-day stresses of running the company. She was already feeling “torn” by the conflicting demands and family values have always been extremely important to us. So, while it was a difficult decision for her to let go of this “other baby,” the family unit always comes first. Keren is still very involved in the business as Director, Business Analysis and has a say in all decisions as a member of the Board. More…

Dealing with the Founder’s Dream: The Key to Bridging Generational Change in Family Companies

Dealing with the Founder’s Dream:Northeastern University
The Key to Bridging Generational Change
in Family Companies

Family Business Quarterly
by Jacques Leger

You don’t have to be a management guru to know that fast-paced change is an inescapable component of doing business today. The challenge for family businesses is dealing effectively with change as the business shifts from one generation to the next.

How can the second or third generations engage the founding generations in a process of change? With great difficulty in too many situation. The most severely limiting factor is often in the dreams of the new generation.

The business foundation. Consider the process of starting and building a successful family business. The launch begins with the entrepreneur’s dreams. The business evolves as a combination of the entrepreneur’s taste for risk early on, and the dreams of a brighter future for generations to come. Those dreams are reflected in the culture, the values, and the operating philosophy of the family-owned business.

Unfortunately, this business foundation often forms a solid core around which many business issues are seen as undiscussable. The problem is that the realization of the entrepreneur’s dreams, while at the center of pride of ownership, is often the key cause of intergenerational conflict in family businesses. As many of the dreams become realized, the taste for risk may dissipate, with the result that the appetite for change from the original success formula may wane. More…