360-degree human Archives - David Werdiger
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360-degree human Archives - David Werdiger

Challenges in Family Business Succession

Challenges in Family Business

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Studying failure is far better than studying success because it’s easier to avoid doing the wrong things than mimic the good that others are doing. Here are some of the ways things can go awry: Families and businesses don’t grow at the same rate. From the third (and sometimes second) generation onwards, the family often grows faster than the business. What happens if many family members look to the business for employment or supplementary income?…

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Family Office Governance

It’s all about Governance

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In times of chaos, economic uncertainty, and the crushing burden to lead the family’s assets out of the fire, the need for governance grows even stronger.  Too many families consider family governance as a side dish – a pesky bug that wants to take away all the attention and resources from the main priorities which are revenues and operations. There is also an emotional side to effective family governance which is often overlooked by the…

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Wealthy Family Conflict Resolution

Wealthy Family Conflict

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Case Study: A wealth originator dies leaving a second generation son in charge of the operating business and family fortune. A mix of 2nd and 3rd generation family members are employees but a 3rd-Gen college grad, never having worked in the family business, proposes a new business venture and asks the family to invest. Read this Horizons Article on how best-selling author David Werdiger describes a resolution-construct to navigate between the conflicting agendas and uncover…

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3 family lessons of Greanleaf series on Netflix

Three Family Lessons from Greenleaf (on Netflix)

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A powerful and prominent family, and the religious institution they run. That was more than enough to pique my interest, and after rapidly working our way through three seasons of the outstanding Netflix series Greenleaf, it reinforced so much I already know about family business, succession, and intergenerational transition. When telling people about this series, I delay mentioning the setting – a African-American mega-church in Memphis. While that aspect adds a wonderful dimension, the intersecting…

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How to raise un-entitled kids

Wealth, anxiety and privilege

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Consider This: How do you explain your family wealth to young children? At what do you start this process? How do you say ‘no’ to them and place limits on their spending when they reply “but we can afford it”? Affluenza and entitle-itis are some of the newest ‘diseases’ that afflict the wealthy, and of course there is always the ubiquitous ‘privilege’ that almost everyone is now obliged to check. In her book Uneasy Street:…

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top 3 causes of business owner burnout

Top 3 Causes of Business Owner Burnout

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The top 3 causes of Business Owner burnout include long hours, family strife and organizational chart mismanagement. A dose of preventive medicine could go a long way. A compelling question that inspires action; What would happen if I was run over by a bus? Not just to my business, but to my young and growing family. I couldn’t just fob this off – it went to the core of what I was trying to achieve…

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Next Gen Philanthropy

Rising Gen Philanthropy

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There are very different generational attitudes to philanthropy in families. While previous generations saw philanthropy as “giving money to non-profits”, the rising generation of wealthy individuals has broadened and redefined the term, considering it to be “the action of transforming others’ social well-being through generosity”. The rising generation is more engaged and involved in philanthropic endeavors, and do so at earlier ages than their predecessors. They’re also motivated by the value propositions behind sustainable and…

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Pandemic Succession Planning

Pandemic Succession Planning

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Abraham Lincoln famously said: “Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream”. Is a global pandemic the best time to change leaders? Or is it better to avoid dramatic changes during uncertain times? While we’d like to be well prepared, and knowing that succession planning is a process rather than an event, families may find themselves needing to accelerate the process at these times. Unplanned transitions don’t have to inevitably end in disaster, but when they…

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family business transition

Key Ingredients to FamilyBusiness Transition

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“How to transition the family business to the next generation?” The answer depends on (a) who is asking (incumbent or rising generation) and (b) when (in the life-cycle of the business) they are asking. More often than not, the question is raised too late – when the incumbent generation is thinking of retirement, when there are already unstated expectations from both generations, and when there is already latent conflict. The key ingredients to a successful…

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Family Office Considerations

Family Office Considerations

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A family office is usually structured around the individual needs and preferences of the family involved, and an increase in private wealth is fostering the creation of more and more single family offices (SFOs). The space is shifting rapidly, and with it comes the changing face of the family office and new definitions of what this means. One pervasive mistake is not developing a deep understanding of the goals, objectives and agendas of the wealthy…

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