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October 20, 2021

At a family business conference, several years ago, I had the good fortune to hear speak the senior family member and then president of the fourth generation Italian fashion house, Ermenegildo Zegna. In reply to a question on where he spent his time, he identified three areas of personal priority.

At a family business conference, several years ago, I had the good fortune to hear speak the senior family member and then president of the fourth generation Italian fashion house, Ermenegildo Zegna. In reply to a question on where he spent his time, he identified three areas of personal priority.

September 14, 2021

Picture yourself as a successor, recently arrived in a foreign market with no clear job description, no clarity on why you are there and a suspicious local management team. Your brief is to 'Find your own way and make a difference' in a company with €1 billion plus sales and a track record of minimum active family involvement.

Picture yourself as a successor, recently arrived in a foreign market with no clear job description, no clarity on why you are there and a suspicious local management team. Your brief is to 'Find your own way and make a difference' in a company with €1 billion plus sales and a track record of minimum active family involvement.

April 16, 2021

I am writing as the son of a successful father whose enormous shadow I have tried to wiggle out of for much of my professional life. I write this from a personal perspective of watching my first generation of wealth creators struggle to involve their next-gen in the family business.

I am writing as the son of a successful father whose enormous shadow I have tried to wiggle out of for much of my professional life. I write this from a personal perspective of watching my first generation of wealth creators struggle to involve their next-gen in the family business.

February 19, 2021

Humility can be a powerful asset for a family business leader, stimulating corporate innovation and employee loyalty, says David C Bentall, a Canadian third-generation family business veteran, in his new book.

Humility can be a powerful asset for a family business leader, stimulating corporate innovation and employee loyalty, says David C Bentall, a Canadian third-generation family business veteran, in his new book.

February 17, 2021

From the onset of the new millennium, business leaders have been increasingly interested in ‘purpose’—the idea that they might look beyond the profit motive alone to consider why the business exists and what purpose it serves. 

From the onset of the new millennium, business leaders have been increasingly interested in ‘purpose’—the idea that they might look beyond the profit motive alone to consider why the business exists and what purpose it serves. 

The idea was given popular force by business author Simon Sinek, whose 2009 book Start with Why visualised business purpose as a ‘Golden Circle’—actually, three concentric circles, with WHY in the inside circle, HOW in the middle and WHAT in the outside circle.

January 6, 2021

In a recent family business event, a couple of young family business owners were asking questions around their role, finding their place and their individual voice. Questions motivated by their respective positions as heirs, beneficiaries, descendants, inheritors and ‘next-in-line’.

In a recent family business event, a couple of young family business owners were asking questions around their role, finding their place and their individual voice. Questions motivated by their respective positions as heirs, beneficiaries, descendants, inheritors and ‘next-in-line’.

Any one of these descriptions are representative of considerable responsibilities and accepted norms. Taken together, they represent the range and depth of the obligations, paths and expectations which together are captured in one word: successor.

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