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The BNH Book Review

Published Monday Aug 30, 2021

Author Terri Schlichenmeyer of The Bookworm Sez

“Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook”
by Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer
2021/ Harvard Business Review Press
$29.99 /320 pages

They say not to take work home with you, but how can you not? Your eldest child is the CFO, her brother is the sales manager, two cousins run the ad budget and you’re grooming the next generation. You need the “Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook.”

While America was built on mom-and-pop enterprises, few things come together as easily as they did then, especially family businesses. So how do you ensure that your family biz is strong enough to withstand today’s world?

Only a small fraction of businesses survive to be nurtured by a third generation. To be one of them, know your rights as a family business owner by understanding how the business is owned. Decide which kind of business you want for the future. Be flexible and willing to step back, aside, or tear the business structure apart and rebuild. Decide, as a family, who will be allowed to share information about the company, and what its overall value will be. And finally, have a transition plan in place. Doing so is best for the future of the business and the family.

Though it’s thorough and can help ascertain various personalities and strengths readers must deal with in their workplaces, and although the authors pack their book with information that pokes into the corners of every family business imaginable, it may lead to information overload. There’s a lot to unpack here, and it probably should be undertaken as a family project; find multiple copies of “Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook” and make sure you all take it home with you.

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