Perspectives

The resilient family enterprise

Turning challenges into opportunities

Despite their reputation for resilience, optimism and agility, most family businesses have been under significant pressure to respond to the general health, safety, and welfare challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the operational disruptions to their business. This series explores how the same traits that set family businesses apart are creating authentic opportunities for resilience, growth, and recovery.

#1 - Unique characteristics of family enterprises that could position them to thrive

The introductory article in the Resilient Family Enterprise series examines how COVID-19 brings new focus to family business issues like succession planning, values and purpose, and legacy.

Upcoming articles will include the following topics:

  • Purpose and trust
  • Power and performance: The role of governance
  • Beyond business: Philanthropy and strategic investing
  • The post-COVID workplace
  • Your family business: Planning with a 100-year horizon
  • Well-being and health: The enterprise, the family and the individual
  • What’s next for family businesses?
Unique characteristics of family enterprises that could position them to thrive

#2 - Thriving at the intersection of purpose and trust

In recent years, companies across the economic spectrum have increasingly been engaged in a rethink about what drives them beyond making a profit. Many family businesses had a head-start on this. At one point in time or another, every family business founder had to come to grips with this question of purpose.

The global pandemic has shaken businesses to their core, impacting relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and other key stakeholders. Amidst this upheaval, family business leaders are looking for ways to reconnect with these constituents and even extend their reach. And that search has them thinking anew about the intersection of purpose and trust.

Thriving at the intersection of purpose and trust

#3 - The role of governance in the family enterprise

COVID-19 is teaching family businesses many lessons about preparedness, agility, and adaptation. It is also underscoring the need for critical self-assessment—a hard look at what’s working, what isn’t, and what’s not being discussed.

That’s what good governance is all about—building resilience. 

No company can avoid the imperative to change in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to come out of this period with a strategy that will help us thrive in the next normal, navigating uncertainty and change together.

The role of governance in the family enterprise

#4 - Beyond business: Philanthropy and strategic investing

Despite their reputation for resilience, optimism and agility, most family businesses have been under significant pressure to respond to the general health, safety, and welfare challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the operational disruptions to their business.

The Resilient Family Enterprise series explores how the same traits that set family businesses apart are creating authentic opportunities for resilience, growth, and recovery. Read the latest article in the series - Beyond business: Philanthropy and strategic investing.

No company can avoid the imperative to change in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to come out of this period with a strategy that will help us thrive in the next normal, navigating uncertainty and change together.

Beyond business: Philanthropy and strategic investing

#5 - Cultivating a post-COVID "workplace"

Despite their reputation for resilience, optimism and agility, most family businesses have been under significant pressure to respond to the general health, safety, and welfare challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the operational disruptions to their business.

The Resilient Family Enterprise series explores how the same traits that set family businesses apart are creating authentic opportunities for resilience, growth, and recovery. Read the latest article in the series: Cultivating a post-COVID workplace.

No company can avoid the imperative to change in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to come out of this period with a strategy that will help us thrive in the next normal, navigating uncertainty and change together.

Cultivating a post-COVID "workplace"

#6 - Planning for what’s beyond the horizon

It’s been said that while public companies think in terms of quarters, family businesses think in terms of generations. Is it too early to start thinking about the year 2030? Or even 2040? Not if you’re a family enterprise looking to stay relevant. As companies work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, attention will begin to move from an “interim normal” to a “better normal” that capitalizes on their resilience and agility.

When we look back 10 to 20 years from now, we may be able to point to companies whose success was driven by decisions made today based on a long view toward the horizon. Getting family business leaders to consider such long-term planning might seem unimportant in a year in which many are just trying to make it to 2021. But family-owned companies have survived recent economic recessions at a greater rate than non-family companies by keeping their eyes on the road ahead, launching new products, and preserving their emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

Planning for what's beyond the horizon

#7 - Putting family first in IPO deliberations

For many family business founders, the decision to stay private is a personal one. They built their company from the ground up and they don’t want to put its fate in the hands of outsiders. When the day comes, many may assume they will pass the torch to their sons and daughters or other members of the family who are committed to sustaining their legacy.

It’s not until a crisis hits that the ground beneath such assumptions begins to crumble. And few crises have created as much uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic. For more than a year now, families the world over have had to grapple with the loss of loved ones and caring for those who were afflicted. Those who run companies have had to do double duty, ensuring their companies have the resources and agility to stay afloat and stay competitive.

Putting family first in IPO deliberations
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