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Inside the Multi-Generational Family Business: Nine Symptoms of Generational Stack-Up and How to Cure Them [Hardcover]

Mark Green

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Book Description

March 15 2011 023011184X 978-0230111844

Inside the Multi-Generational Family Business is an inside look at how familial relationships affect the success or the failure of the family business.  Many family business owners encounter conflict between siblings, children, and other relatives—especially when they're all involved with the business.  The author’s message is simple: family businesses today are saddled with “generational stack-up,” or the convergence of several generations as owners, managers, employees, and shareholders, often without even knowing it. Each generation has its own work style, biases, and approach to money and business. Through detailed analysis of the various generations and the characteristics that define them in the family business, a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the family in the family business can move the multi-generational family business from chaos and conflict to true collaboration and improved performance.

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"Families have no successions only transitions. Mark Green explains why so many of those generational transitions fail because an older generation of a family blocks the natural development of later family generation members; often he explains because of fundamentally different world views. He then artfully and with great experience explains how to diagnose a generational blockage and how, with sensitivity and tact, to dissolve it proactively toward a successful family evolution."  --James [Jay E. Hughes, Jr,  author of Family Wealth and Family: The Compact Among Generations

"If our 73 year old, third generation family business survives, it will in good measure be due to the sound advice from Inside the Multigenerational Family Business.  It shows us the big picture and in turn helps to improve communication within the family.  I highly recommend Mark Green and his recent book." --John Bradshaw, Portland Transmission Warehouse, Portland, Oregon
"Mark Green does a superb job of bringing the generational stack-up to life by pointing to the root causes underlying the inter-generational conflicts and frustrations in family enterprises. Family business research and practice has traditionally looked at the transfer from one generation to another but Inside the Multigenerational Family Business captures today's realities of the multi-generational enterprises where up to five generations are occupying the workplace. This is a must read book for all progressive individuals who care to reap the opportunities of generational stack-up while effectively negotiating the related confusion and frustrations."  --Pramodita Sharma, CIBC Distinguished Professor of Family Business, Concordia University, Montreal; and Editor, Family Business Review

“Mark Green helped set us on a successful path for a generational and leadership transition.  Let him help you arrive at a stronger place for your business and your family.”  — Emily Powell, President, Powell’s Bookstore, Inc./

About the Author

Mark T. Green is a Senior Associate of The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc., the former Director of the Austin Family Business Program, and was founding Director of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, College of Business at Oregon State University.  

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a family affair and it needs attention May 23 2011
By Susanna Hutcheson - Published on
I was interested in this book because there was a time --- a very long time ago --- when I had hoped to take over or at least help my father in his newspaper business. He and I both owned newspapers. He and I both were successful. But there the similarities ended. We each had our own ways of doing things and they would not have worked well together. So, in retrospect, I'm glad we each went our own way.

However, many families keep their businesses tightly held within the family group. That, of course, presents many unique problems such as the one I describe above.

This book attempts to identify the various problems and how each generation differs. It offers advice as to how to get the different generations smoothly working together so the business is a success. Often, since people are living longer, four or five generations are working together. That can, and often is, problematic.

"One of the biggest issues family businesses face is problematic interactions between generations. This is often seen between the founding generation and second generation, or between the generation currently in power and the next, framed mainly as an issue of working across two generations or transferring the business from one to the next by dealing effectively with succession and ownership issues," the author writes.

He says these conflicts are normal. That doesn't mean, however, they won't cause lots of trouble and conflicts that must be addressed.

The author tells us that the book doesn't have all the answers. He says it's a guide ". . . aimed at helping real family businesses and their professional advisers deal with the complexity and challenges of merging business with family."

If you're involved in a family business, this is a book that will be of incredible help to you.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson

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