Our last Breakfast Series session focused on how to have tough conversations as a family. We drew a lot on the concept that difficult topics often get swept under the rug until they become giant “Jerry Springer moments” with our business family.
I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some things I learned from our panelists (Heidi Vermeer-Quist of VQ Consult and Warren Jacobs and Warren Phillips of Transformative Workplace Solutions). So here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
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“A family is like a small business”, Marty Byrde.
Marty makes this statement way back in the second episode of the very first season. It gives you some insight into his persona, and while obviously fictional, Marty goes on to show us some very true points about being successful in business. You can argue all day if they have helped Marty be successful – though (spoiler alert) he does continue to keep his family alive.
I wanted to point out just 3 of those lessons... Read More
If you're like many business owners, your business plays a large role in supporting your family's lifestyle. As you plan for your business' future, you may run into questions about how to treat family members fairly in your plans. This is especially crucial if you have children who work in the business and chidden who do not work in the business.
When planning for your business' future success, you will likely need to address how you will eventually distribute your assets to children or close family members. As you address this issue, you may realize that what you consider fair is quite different from what your children and family consider fair. Consider the story of owner Bill... Read More
I draw on my favorite sitcom of all time, Seinfeld, whenever I can. Sometimes the metaphors have to stretch pretty far, so stay with me on this one. Kenny Bania was a hack stand up trying to make it as a comic. His bits were rough to say the least. He comes into contact with Jerry as a fellow comedian on the NYC comedy circuit. Somehow he befriends Jerry and his life is changed forever. And it all starts with peer learning. Jerry takes Kenny under his wing and even writes a bit for him on the misleading name of Ovaltine. The joke goes over so well for Kenny that NBC Recruits him to do a new sitcom for them. With a little help from his peers, (in this case, Jerry) Kenny goes from a strugg... Read More
5. You enjoy being alone for holidays – or really any time of the year for that matter.
4. Your family finds a way to put the FUN in Dysfunctional! Why create structure and a level of understanding for family when a Magic 8 Ball is so much more fun – especially the reactions from family members as the dreaded “Better not tell you now” response comes up.
3. The Next Generation of my family has no hope of being able to manage this company, so why bother. I just don’t see how any of them, including my own kids, could ever have the abilities that I have. They’ll run it into the ground, so my best bet is just to... Read More
Last month I succumbed to the pressure/popularity of writing about top 5 lists. Well it worked! We had a tremendous response from last month’s entry on “why should I join a Peer Group”
This month I am going to focus on Reason #5 – Time to Work “on” the Business.
It’s something business consultants talk about ad nauseam. Work “on” the business, don’t get sucked in to fighting fires, stay out of the operational vortex, etc. etc.
It’s almost like my doctor telling me to watch my diet and exercise. As I sit here stuffing a cookie in my face, I realize the difficulty.
So how do you make it happen? How do yo... Read More
The Des Moines cohort of the Family Business Next Generation Leadership launched on November 1st.
Comments from those attending the first session:
“I didn’t know what to expect, but am excited to learn with others that are in family businesses like myself.”
“The leadership aspects to the program will be insightful and applicable to our family business.”... Read More
I was at the gym recently (within the last month I think) and noticed myself spending more time picking the next song on Pandora than I was exerting energy in any other way. So while I was building up finger dexterity and thumb muscles – the rest of my body was not exactly engaged. I started off with the best of intentions – work out a couple times a week, maybe limit my Oreo consumption; you know, life transforming stuff. I lasted about a week and I could sense the Oreo’s anger at me, so I fell back into my old routine.
I tell you this as... Read More
By Jayne Kielman, Business Development Representative
It always feels like we start to get to this time of year, summer is starting to wind down as those with kids start to anticipate sending them back to school. Vacations are over, the days are getting shorter and the mind starts to wander to “what’s next”? The UNI Family Business Forum hosted a series of Summer Family Business Reunion events around the state. Each of these provided different topics, a chance to meet a variety of new family businesses and to get feedback about “what’s next for family businesses”.
This is a great transition into WHAT IS NEXT? For family businesses that question looms large for... Read More
Summary: When is the right time to start planning? This article outlines three steps owners should consider taking as soon as possible.
Many business owners believe they have plenty of time to create a successful plan for the future of their businesses. Most commonly, owners think that if they give themselves a few years, they can transform their businesses into whatever they need them to be: whether that means bigger, more valuable, or more easily sold/transferred. A... Read More