Preparing to be at the wheel - why family business education matters!
3 things to consider when getting the next generation ready to take over the family business
Can you over-communicate with your stakeholders?
Lessons from J.M. Huber Corporation?s non-family CEO and Chairman
Is Bigger Better? Bavaria N.V. begs to differ?
Lessons from the winner of the 2015 IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award
Are family businesses soft and fuzzy or just better at handling paradoxes?
How family businesses balance both family and business
Learn how to successfully pass on your family business at OWP
6 tips on succession ahead of the family business stream at Orchestrating Winning Performance
The family office: helping families preserve their wealth over generations
5 questions for families who want to manage their wealth and ensure its longevity.
What's in a Name?
Family Identity Matters
From entrepreneur to family business -- the impossible challenge?
Very few company founders want to give up control
Succession Challenges for Asian Family Businesses
How to keep your value(s)
To be, or not to be the next-generation family business leader
Four questions younger family members should ask themselves
How a family can guard a luxury brand
Lessons from Patek Philippe
Learning from the best
Award-winning family businesses share the keys to their success.
IMD celebrates 25 years of family business education
Major event draws 150 leading families from 30 countries.
Meet the Family
Most family businesses are not very good at handling a succession. This is partly because they lack regular practice. Handovers in a family firm might only happen once every few decades, far less often than in public companies. Then there is emotion. In addition to family politics and feuds, parents are often unable to make a rational assessment of their children's leadership abilities. Disputes at handover time are inevitable.
Bridging the Gap
Businesses today operate in two time frames: the immediate, and the very long term.
The first demands that leaders deliver consistently strong quarterly results and keep the markets happy. If they don't do this, they're out.
The second requires them to make significant investments today to prepare the company for the future, even though these may not pay off for years or even decades to come. If they don't do this, the company will likely eventually fail.
Family Businesses: Successes and Failures
Family businesses are widely seen as the backbone of the economy - they create wealth, they provide jobs, they are locally rooted and connected to their communities and they seem to be around for long periods of time. Yet, despite the many positive aspects of family businesses, there is also a darker side. Family conflicts, incompetent members of the next generation and flamboyant lifestyles are just some of the more frequent criticisms about family businesses.
Private Wealth and the Family Office - Different Structures for Different Families.
The impressive growth of private wealth on a global scale in recent decades has resulted in "The Forbes World's Billionaires" list growing from some 140 billionaires when it was first launched 25 years ago to a record 1,226 in 2012. The emergence of new industries, particularly financial industries, is largely responsible for this unprecedented growth in "new wealth," and its magnitude has inevitably drawn attention to the individuals who have succeeded in amassing these fortunes. On the other side of the private wealth spectrum is "old wealth," i.e. wealth that was created by earlier generations, passed down to subsequent generations and either enhanced or impoverished along the way.
Letting History be Their Guide - How family firms can leverage the past to succeed in the future.
Family companies can be some of the most powerful and successful organizations in the world. Research suggests that they outperform their non-family counterparts financially, and they do an excellent job of fostering social progress and environmental preservation.
Openness - Taking the Family business to a new level
Openness to external change, to external talents, to other cultures and mindsets, as well as to the family business community is the key to taking the family business to a new level of development. Read the insights from the IMD Annual Family Business Forum.
Negociating in the Family Business
IMD - Family Business - Book advice on negotiation may work in typical settings between boss and subordinate, and vendor and buyer. However, when members of a family business negotiate, the rules of the game are different.
Evolve or Fail - Social Capitalism and the Notion of Shared Value In the World of Family Business
"Money first, virtue later - a strategic dilemma?"
We live in a fast-changing world, a highly interconnected world, fragile and volatile at the same time. Today's mega trends make us realize that markets, politics, demographics, education, infrastructure, climate change and environment all relate on a local and increasingly on a global level. At the same time, focusing on quick profits often overrides the social-ecological-economical symbiosis, and trust in business principles, systems and leaders has suffered greatly as a result. These great forces in societal development are encouraging executives to adopt a long-term perspective. Sustainability has become a CEO agenda topic. Has it become a topic for discussion among family business owners too?
Family Business at the Forefront of Global Change 2011
At an IMD Discovery Event for family businesses in February 2011, more than 100 participants explored how leading family businesses around the globe can take advantage of business opportunities in today's environment by leveraging their strengths as privately owned businesses. Read the insights.
How successful family businesses prepare for an uncertain future
Lessons from award-winning company Odebrecht: Brazilian giant Odebrecht has left its mark on nearly every major project in South America over the past half-century. The $23 billion family business, established in 1944, is the holding company for the largest engineering and petrochemical companies in Latin America, and is one of the five largest private-sector manufacturing companies in Brazil. It is also one of the world's biggest producers of ethanol and thermoplastics.
Insights from the Film Inception
Fact and fiction about family business: Topping the box office, Inception is full of intense action scenes, new age special effects and intriguing concepts. Yet, all the Hollywood-hype set aside, at the very heart of the blockbuster, the movie portrays many facts, fictions and biases about family businesses.
So much cash so few investment opportunities
Will the Wenzhou Equities Operation Center help family businesses?
Wenzhou, hidden in the mountains of the Zheijian province and approximately 365 km south of Shanghai, has long been an entrepreneurial hotbed. Though relatively small, it has one of the highest GDPs in China. Famed for its family-based business model that made the city one of the richest in China by the 1990s, Wenzhouese capitalists have more recently been exploring methods of pushing their companies to new levels of profitability.
Family Business Brands III - Showtime for Family Business
Tell others that you are family and seize your moment in the spotlight: In a play on an Andy Warhol quote, the British street artist Banksy created a sculpture of a TV with the following written on the screen: "In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes." The new year brings us another step closer to this media reality, with the surge in social websites, blogging and reality television continuing to have an impact. Every person, and also every company, will come under the spotlight, and firms need to realize that they cannot hide from the media and they should proactively manage their corporate brand image. This will be especially true for family businesses in 2010 because today the spotlight is on them.
Family Business Brands II - The DNA Test for Family Business Brands
When it comes to branding a family business, an interesting paradox emerges. On one hand, it can be very advantageous to advertise a company's family heritage because its long-term orientation is at the root of its valuable and difficult-to-copy competitive advantage. However, on the other hand, we have noticed that only very few companies actively promote this differentiating aspect of their uniqueness to the outside world of external stakeholders.
Family Business Brands I - Who is Family Who is not
Family businesses are at the bedrock of almost all economies in the world. That is a very well known fact. Less well-known is that scientific proof coming from many research studies points out that family businesses perform better than non-family businesses. In some countries, the outperformance of family businesses reaches even a level of +158% solid over a period of 10 years!
From owner strategy to business strategy
In the past, family businesses were often viewed as the most common and oldest type of business; but on the other hand, they were considered boring and were underestimated. However, recent studies show that the best family businesses outperform traditional public companies when it comes to growth, profitability and financial stability. The takeover of big names like Volkswagen and Continental by family-owned businesses sets the tone for a new era.
About Family Business and Philanthropy
As a family grows, not everyone's talents or interests can be accommodated through the family business. And, sometimes, the family company may no longer exist. So how can a family with a business heritage find its way through these potentially rough waters and remain a close, cohesive and purposeful group? For many families, the answer is philanthropy and family office.
About Wealth and (Extra) ordinary People
Pearls of wisdom for business leaders
The $4 billion purchase by Berkshire Hathaway of 80% of Iscar Metalworking, an Israeli firm that manufactures metal working tools for customers in the global automobile, die and mold and aerospace industries, stunned the markets. It was Berkshire's first acquisition of a company with headquarters outside the US. The world wanted to know what was so compelling about this Israeli firm that lead Berkshire's CEO Warren Buffett, to move out of his comfort zone and make such an unconventional investment.
Dealing with the Complexity of Family Business
Family businesses are inherently complex: in addition to dealing with business issues, they must also deal with ownership and family issues. This complexity confers tremendous strength - families have values and look towards future generations and sustainability; ownership is independent and long-term; and the company can adopt unconventional business models. Because of this, family businesses can, and often do, outperform publicly held corporations.
Family offices and risk investment
We present the results of a study of a subset of major European family offices managing at least 1.5 billion. Through extensive interviews with family members and family office managers, we compiled information to document the genesis of family offices how they were created, their governance and operating structures, and their investment allocation. We find that the primary driver for these three aspects is the involvement of the founder in the office and the goals that the founder seeks to accomplish. We propose a new taxonomy of models of family offices based upon principal involvement and posit that such involvement is related to larger social re-appraisals of work-life balance.
Private Wealth Origin and Destination
Whilst private wealth has broadly spread, little insight has been provided on the evolution and infl uencing factors of the private wealth development process over time, starting with the founder/entrepreneur up to multi-generational families with their family businesses and family offices.
Living with Paradoxes
Family firms often do not feel the typical pressure to choose between two desirable goals. The complicated duality of seemingly opposite concepts -- family and business, tradition and innovation, individual and collective- appears to prepare family owners and their non-family managers to embrace paradox. Deftly balancing incongruity becomes second-nature and fundamental to successful strategy. When an enterprise is in touch with its values and why it exists, a holistic, forward-looking determination results that can make it unstoppable - and fun to watch.
Another Type of Leadership
The world is changing. Is there something wrong with the economic model which has brought unprecedented growth to the world in the last century? The separation of capital and management has certainly been the driver of wealth creation for an ever-growing part of the population. But a number of highly visible scandals in different parts of the world have raised questions about system weaknesses, which can lead to managements disregarding or disrespecting the rights of ownership.
Making that Important Difference
Succession planning is essential to the long-term survival of family businesses. Yet it is precisely during this period that they are particularly at risk. While most families seem to acknowledge this risk, often they appear to have difficulty in finding an approach that best addresses the needs of stakeholders. Recent research by IMD on key success factors in multi-generational leading family businesses, points to the increasing use of philanthropy as a vehicle to drive a successful generational succession plan.