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UFB Issue #023 Succession Planning
April 09, 2004

"The key to family business success"
ISSN 15465640

A free monthly e-zine with articles and tips from Family Business Experts who understand family values and business systems.

April 9, 2004 Issue #023 Family Business Experts

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In This Issue...

1. Our Managing Director Announces -

2. Business first family...Family first business

Succession Planning Survey

3. Legacy through Leadership

Understanding Environment Changes

4. Around the Family Business Experts web sites


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1. Our Managing Director Announces -

The need for us to develop a succession planning survey was obvious. Only about 30% of family-owned businesses successfully transition to the second generation of family ownership! Less than 5% successfully transition to the third generation of family ownership.

The reasons for such a severe failure rate are varied and complex. Unfortunately, for those that fail to make the transition, almost all of the problems associated with generational transition can be avoided.

Study our survey, and for those of you who are family business owners, I personally invite you to take the survey... there is no cost, and I'll provide an analysis and suggestions.

We begin our legacy in leadership series with Tip #1 Understanding Environmental Changes.

One approach to family business consulting takes a hard stand that family and business must be separated for the business to be successful. We generally find that managing family and business problems is closer to the reality in family businesses. Nepotism is an issue right at the heart of family and business and our next issue will feature an exciting and revealing interview with Adam Bellow where he shares his insights into the New Nepotism as he wrote about it in "In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural History. I know you'll find it as informative and insightful as we did!

Whether to contribute, challenge (or hopefully even praise) our newsletter, I encourage you to contact me directly Don, or our editor David.

Enjoy, and here's wishing you, your family, your clients... much success!

Don Schwerzler, Managing Director
Family Business Experts


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2. Business first family...Family first business:

Our Succession Planning Survey Will Help You Win The Succession Sweepstakes

As Don mentioned in his opening letter, the odds of successful succession for a family business are dismal - only 30% from first to second generation and 5% to third generation.

We have developed a family succession planning tool that will help define the probabilities for the successful transition of ownership to the next generation of YOUR family.

If you are a family business owner and are interested in seeing how you compare to others like yourself, take a few minutes and complete the short quiz. Your answers will be processed and then reviewed by Don Schwerzler, founder of the Family Business Institute. You simply review a number of questions relating to your family business, your personal life and arrangements, and your family itself, and mark those that apply to your situation. Hit the submit button, and your information will be e-mailed confidentially directly to Don Schwerzler.

After your survey is processed, Don will review your results and e-mail his comments back to you. This confidential feedback has proven very helpful to other family business owners - it might provide the insights you need to beat the family business succession sweepstakes!

Even if you aren't a family business owner, you'll find the survey helpful since it deals with the factors that affect family business succession.

Succession Planning Survey

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3. Legacy through Leadership

Leadership Practice Tip #1


Understanding Environment Changes
is a key leadership practice

WHY? Understanding Environment Changes helps the leader to meet this responsibility:

The leader sets the strategic direction, ensures that it gets deployed throughout the entire organization, and insists it is updated in accordance with operating results (HP1).

HOW? Understanding environmental changes is the strategic process that enables the organization to understand and systematically monitor its external environments. This process ensures that the strategic direction makes sense given the actual organization environment, and it seeks to assess the impacts of environmental changes. When working throughout the organization, it ensures that the employees understand the potential and real impacts of external changes.

EXPERT OPINION: “My management philosophy starts with the basics: thoroughly understand the environment in which you're managing. That means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the company, its competitive position, its competitors, and where the markets for the products you're offering are heading”. (Gary Wendt, COB & CEO of Conseco, Leaders Talk Leadership, 2002, p. 154).

Dr. Ken Mackenzie is our internationally-recognized organizational expert. These leadership tips are excerpted from the e-book Legacy through Leadership he and Don Schwerzler collaborated on. Email:

4. Around the Family Business Experts web sites

Search the entire content site
in two different ways

1. A search engine powered by ATOMZ has indexed all the pages on the site and will link you to those relating to any search term you enter.

2. A 'Table of contents' listing that will link you directly to any page / article you select. Use the Site Map Navigation Button from any major page on the site.

Background information, testimonials to our service and understanding, and answers to FAQ's [Frequently Asked Questions]. Family Business Experts

There are new articles accessible from this page on the left side navigation bar.

Check out and complete our new Succession Planning Survey

And remember about our convenient new online billing with 100% assurance! Another step in our process of starting online business. Secure online payment

© 2004. Family Business Institute, Inc.,
1213 Laurel Cliff Dr SE., Smyrna GA 30082
Voice 770.952.4085 Fax 770.432.6660

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