Most corporate dynasties fail to make it to a second generation, making these Canadian firms thriving under the leadership of the founder’s grandkids (and great-grandkids!) truly remarkable
Izzy Asper never wanted his children to work at Canwest Global Communications, the now defunct media empire he founded. His drive and hunger for acquisitions turned Canwest into one of the most powerful firms in Canada and, for a time, earned the Aspers a spot on the Rich 100. He wanted his kids to succeed elsewhere, however.
“They were all practising lawyers and were doing very nicely on their own. It was they who got this dynastic glaze in their eyes—which I generally discouraged,” he told journalist Peter C. Newman. “I don’t believe in dynasties.” But his daughter, Gail, “slipped through the net” to become general counsel at Canwest, and brothers David and Leonard followed. It was under Leonard’s stewardship that Canwest filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Read more
67% are at Risk of Succession Failure
If you are an owner in a family enterprise, the chances of your business transitioning successfully to the next generations is not very good. This has not changed over the years. Statistics show a failure rate of:
- 67% of businesses fail to succeed into the second generation
- 90% fail by the third generation
With 80% to 90% of all enterprises in North America being family owned, it is important to address the reasons why transition is difficult. Read more
Focusing on growth is harder when your co-owners are your relatives
by Fred Pidsadny for ProfitGuide.com
Family-run businesses are like elastic bands—they can be stretched only so far, in different directions, before tensions cause them to snap. Those who run family businesses know that stress can often be elevated by forces that don’t exist in non-family firms, from hiring obligations and bloodline silos to next-generation financial demands to under-performing family members. It’s one thing to discipline or even fire a stranger, quite another to turf a brother or daughter. For such businesses, finding a successful balance is an ongoing challenge.
So how can family-owned businesses avoid conflict and focus on growth? For a number of years I’ve been working with a company run by three brothers, each with their own family and their own unique take on strategy and succession planning. They have benefited tremendously by learning and practicing what I call the four Cs of strategy execution for owner-managed businesses: