Three ideas to capture the real power of your founder’s story

May 22, 2011

Why do we make such a big deal about the founder’s story?  Isn’t it just a three-minute chronicle of how the business got started?  And doesn’t everyone eventually become tired of hearing it? On the surface the founder’s story may seem a little trivial.  But in our experience, once you capture the power it holds, [...]

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What could you do with the 18th Elephant?

May 22, 2011

This is a story about a successful business founder who wished to turn his business into a legacy for the next generation.  It takes place in ancient India, where the founder established a very successful company leasing elephants for transport, construction, and celebrations. The growth days of the firm had wound down as the founder [...]

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How Star Wars helped your business achieve authenticity

May 22, 2011

Today’s buzzword is Authenticity.  We have set the bar much higher for what rings true and what does not.  But the emphasis is more on “ring” than “true.”  Computer realism is perfectly acceptable because it looks so authentic. When movies were actually made in Hollywood, it didn’t occur to moviegoers to question if the action [...]

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How “Boundary Disputes” waste time in Founder/Successor relationships

May 22, 2011

Boundary Disputes are closely related to Mishandled Baggage.  Again, very common in multigenerational succession plans but there is potential in every succession circumstance.  The disputes arise when business problems leak into home life—and they always will if left to chance. Home is where all the emotional support resides, and business problems often require some homegrown [...]

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Here’s our new terminology to replace “Business Succession”.

May 22, 2011

“The King is dead!  Long live the King!”  You have heard the proclamation in books and movies.   Sounds confusing at first, doesn’t it?  It means the old king has died and the new king is crowned—implying a king is a king as far as the country is concerned.  But if that’s what succession means, then [...]

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Are you creative in the Grouper or Stringer mold?

May 22, 2011

There are a lot of ways to divide people into different categories.  Here is one we introduced to our clients—Groupers and Stringers.  It resonates well for strategic planning and problem-solving sessions. There are two basic thinking styles.   Because they can both attract and repel, you have to understand them so you can respect the differences.  [...]

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Your Founder’s Story—Does it rock or does it suck?

May 22, 2011

Every entrepreneur has a story to tell about how the business started.  And love to tell it.  But not many of them use it effectively, because they haven’t seen its hidden power. Founder stories are not just personal events on a timeline of challenges and successes.  They reveal the character of the founders.  Their dreams [...]

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How “Baggage Mis-handling” wastes time in Founder/Successor relationships

May 22, 2011

Baggage Mishandling might appear to be mainly a family succession issue, but we’ve seen it in founder/protégé relationships as well.  There are two phrases that signal the problem. Things start as a dialogue but suddenly a lot of emotional baggage spills out.  W we hear is, “You always…!” or “You never…!”  With the accusations come [...]

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The Founder’s Development Agreement—10 Questions

May 22, 2011

In most firms where we have consulted on succession, the founders have too many tentative ideas about the future they want for the business and for themselves. Nothing clear enough to call it a vision.  Not enough emotion invested yet to call it a dream.  Certainly not enough substance to call it a goal.  But [...]

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The Successor’s Development Agreement—10 Questions

May 22, 2011

In our experience, successors feel privileged and enthusiastic stepping into a succession opportunity.  That applies to family successors, assuming reasonably healthy family relationships.  And it applies even more to non-family successors. But reality checks reveal this optimism can be fragile.  With the best intentions in place, it can still be difficult to actualize the succession [...]

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