What Is the Advantage of Mediation?

hand shake

I read an article recently discussing a hesitancy to use mediation in family business disputes because the emotional issues underlying the differences can render the mediation unsuccessful. On the contrary: The presence of emotional issues is precisely why mediation is an important vehicle in solving family business disputes. Emotional issues can drive the process right [...]

Launch: Teaching High School Students How to Start Companies

college students

We are consultants.  We help businesses grow, and love doing it.  But we didn’t know what consulting—or, really, business—really meant, until well past high school. Each of us grew up, like many of us, with a narrow view of potential career paths: Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, Policeman, Artist, and Business Man – this image of the [...]

Is Ping-Pong the Best Social Connector in an Office?

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Here I am, staring at the big board below.  Sure looks like a March Madness bracket for the NCAA Tourney.  But it’s August — what’s up with that?  Well, I give you the W2 Group Ping-Pong Tourney, with 78 employees from Digital Influence Group, Racepoint Group, and the corporate team.  That’s right, 78 people. And [...]

What Makes Some Opinions Better Than Others?


While everyone has a right to his or her opinion, some opinions are more informed than others. When looking for a reliable opinion, there are three things you ought to check: educational background, training and experience.   Of those three, I have found that experience is the single most important criteria for measuring the value of [...]

Is There More to the Paterno/Murdoch Syndrome?


I recently discussed the damage that can be done when people hang onto their positions far beyond their years of maximum performance.  In the cases of Paterno and Murdoch, there has to be more involved than their inability to let go. I suspect that Paterno and Murdoch were charismatic personalities, and, like all charismatic people, [...]

What Makes for a Successful Husband and Wife Business Team?

wedding rings

In addition to the complexity inherent in any relationship, a number of variables, many having to do with a husband’s and wife’s  individual  history and culture, determine whether a couple will succeed in their marriage as well as in a  business partnership.  A mix of variables and personality traits that make for a terrific marriage [...]

How Do I Sell the Need for Policies & Procedures in Our Family Enterprise to My Parents and Grandparents?

Courtesy of  Erik Jacobs

This week’s FamilyBiz Q&A column is by TD&A family business consultant George Burns. The ultimate paradox here is that more formality, not less, is welcome in a family business.   Parents and grandparents inevitably govern more from the heart than from the head.  Protocols regarding family business communications, procedures for decision-making, even “due process,” may sound [...]

Everybody is Entitled to be Treated with Dignity

Courtesy of  Erik Jacobs

The FamilyBiz Q&A column provides answers to your family business-oriented questions from the subject matter experts at Thomas D. Davidow & Associates. I just worked with a partnership of four where one of the partners had gone off the “reservation” and they were stuck. They had asked him to resign and he had refused. There [...]

Answers to Your Family Business-Oriented Question

Thomas Davidow-Associates-logo

The FamilyBiz Q&A column provides answers to your family business-oriented questions from the subject matter experts at Thomas D. Davidow & Associates. What is the biggest obstacle to inter-generational dialogue about succession? Actually, there are two obstacles – starting the dialogue and then sustaining it. Starting the dialogue: The question is: where do you begin? [...]

Should my spouse have a say in the family business?

Courtesy of  Erik Jacobs

Should my spouse have a say in the family business? Should my spouse who does not work in the family business have a say in compensation or other matters involving the next generation members in the family business? The answer is yes and no!  I do not think it is possible for the spouse not [...]

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