Strictly Professional

For the next generation, family-business survival rests squarely on formalized governance

There’s an old saying about family businesses: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. Grandpa hustles and creates the business,Dad takes the baton and then Junior goes down with the ship. According to the Family Firm Institute, just 30 percent of family businesses survive into their second generation, and only 10 percent make it to their third. Why do these firms fail?

Sep 22, 2015 Jeff Wilser
(Shutterstock)

Go Slow to Go Fast

Winging it won’t work in today’s business landscape

Have you ever walked into a semi-dried lake bed? You start out on firm sand, and little by little the ground gets softer and stickier and deeper until finally the mud pulls your boots straight off your feet. That’s the position of many companies battling today’s marketplace, particularly small-business owners set in their ways and family businesses unable to overcome Dad’s unwavering march into the ground.

Sep 1, 2015 Christine Calvin
(Shutterstock)

Book Review: The Business of Time, Money and Significance

‘Making Money Is Killing Your Business' asks us to rethink how we define success

Time, money and significance: These are the three desires that every entrepreneur strives for in a business. Unfortunately, most find themselves caught in the never-ending pursuit of money, squelching the essence of true business ownership and personal freedom. As a result, the enterprise never delivers time back for the things we enjoy doing or the opportunity to make a significant impact on the world around us.

Aug 7, 2015 Michael Scott
(Shutterstock)

The Hard Truth on Trust

Leaders, trust starts at the top

Trust is often at the heart of what goes right and what goes wrong. Strong trust leads to constructive conflict while poor trust invites elephants into the room. When a company has a culture of trust,  people keep their commitments. In its absence, team members become unreliable and productivity drops.

Jul 8, 2015 Tania Fowler
(elements from Shutterstock)

Be Careful How You Classify

How to avoid wage litigation in the age of the $10 hour

For California labor lawyers, the 2012 Brinker v. Superior Court ruling was something akin to Brown v. Board or Roe v. Wade. In a case involving meal and rest breaks for hourly employees, the court ruled that businesses must have a policy giving workers those breaks — but they don’t have to ensure that staff actually take them. It seemed like near-total victory for business.

Jul 8, 2015 Steven Yoder
Design by Zuza Hicks; elements from Shutterstock

Let’s Get Functional

3 tips for better board performance

Most board members join an organization for the right reasons, but many fail to make a meaningful impact. Meanwhile, executive directors complain their board lacks engagement and makes unreasonable demands. Obviously, a disconnect exists, but this scenario has a solution and can be fixed. Here’s how:

Jun 18, 2015 Kim Tucker