This Special Report on the Life Cycle of a Family Business offers vital insights for a business owner to help “keep the business in the family” while “keeping the family in the business” and the business alive, adaptive and competitive. With chapters on key phases in the business and family lifecycles, it delivers a cogent framework for designing (and continuously redesigning), managing, building and transmitting a business across multiple generations. It guides founders, their families, non-family executives and professional advisors.

Easily understood, this Special Report maps a framework and best practices for identifying, separating, harmonizing and optimizing the potentially conflicting roles of business operator, business owner and family members across predictable scenarios. To minimize conflicts, the framework delivers strategies and work plans. Using such tools, business owners can shape family values and set the tone for possible multi-generational family ownership. As a key tool, a carefully honed family constitution can parallel the business organizational structure, enabling succession planning across both family and business.

The report delivers valuable insights and recommendations for good governance and risk management across family and business paradigms. For smooth transitions, the report provides a planning process for intergenerational transitions, with training, testing, challenges, initiatives, interactive governance and risk management. For preserving value in an abrupt exit (such as a family divorce or death of a founder), a special chapter highlights legal rules in one jurisdiction, planning opportunities and dispute resolution strategies.

I highly recommend it as a guide for harmonizing family relationships and a competitive business across generations.

William B Bierce, Bierce & Kenerson, P.C.