The Generational Disconnect, Or How To Go From Brussels To Botswana In 100 Years


A man starts his business in 1912 and runs it passionately for 30 years, then his son takes over, running it, if not passionately, at least competently, for the next 30. That man's daughter then makes it for 25 years and retires early to play golf. Now it's time to turn the family widget business over to the founder's great-grandson. Unfortunately, he's sick of widgets and wants to grow squash in Botswana . . .


Now What?

Many family-owned businesses were started around the turn of the 20th century and although related, most third-generation inheritors probably never met the company founder. Millennials almost certainly won't have. Meanwhile, business models, technology and the general social structure will have altered in ways literally unimaginable to the originators. Third- or fourth-generation heirs are supposed to take over, but do they want to? Did anyone in the company anticipate this?

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Podcast: The Changing Face of Family Business

CPA Australia are great supporters of family businesses and keep ensuring their members have adequate information to serve them well. We recently recorded this podcast ("The Changing Face of Family Business - It’s Not What You Think It Is") as part of their ongoing podcast series.

Family businesses are the oldest and most frequent business ownership model in the world. By nature, they have to be both nimble and dynamic to survive. In this podcast, David and Kim Harland discuss the changes they are noting in the family business sector and what proactive family businesses, and their advisers, are doing to benefit from those changes.

David Harland FCPA (FPS) is the Executive Chairman of FINH and is a leader in the family business advisory field. He provides family business clients with expert advice on such challenges as succession and transition planning, family governance strategies, raising liquidity and sourcing capital.

Kim Harland is the Managing Director of Insights, a provider of customised online resources to family business. The Insights team understand that specialised tools and information play a vital role in managing family businesses risks and improving the longevity, growth and most importantly, the sustainability of each and every family business.To find out more and listen to the podcast just click this link!


2:26 – what is a family business?4:40 – examples of family businesses from around the globe6:50 – five common characteristics of a family business10:25 – challenges that commonly occur in family business11:50 – how are family businesses changing?17:20 – what are smart family businesses doing to plan for the future?21:55 – succession planning for family businesses23.30 – if a family business has survived for 50 years what would you advise them to do?

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How The 4 Yuengling Sisters Manage The Family Business

Below is an amazing article written by Hilary Sheinbaum. Read on as they each share their best tips and advice when it comes to getting along with co-workers who are also family members. 


Going to work and grabbing a beer with family sounds like a dream job. For the Yuenglings, it's reality.

Vice President of Operations Jennifer Yuengling, 46, Sales Administration and Pricing Manager Debbie Yuengling, 43, Chief Administrative Officer Wendy Yuengling, 42, and Order Services Sheryl Yuengling, 39, are sixth generation brewers, and, as their last names might indicate, they're sisters, too.

The ladies work together at America's No. 1 Craft Brewery and Oldest Brewery: D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. 

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Three Reasons Family Cohesions Matters for Family Businesses



Small and family businesses can capitalise on deep bonding and long-term focus to improve real performance. – David Harland, Managing Director of FINH

A strong family equals a strong business. Studies prove that cohesive family businesses generate stronger returns and last longer than non-cohesive ones. Families who are unified last longer and build stronger customer loyalty. This is a critical element that no serious family business can ignore.

Strong emotional connection is important for all companies. The Harvard Business Reviewsays business productivity is directly linked to positivity in the workplace, and it specifically highlights empathy and emotional assistance to employees. The Australian Government also recognises that companies should invest in worker health and wellbeing.

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The Importance of Innovation in Your Family Business - The Nutella Story.


It’s not possible for your family business to solely survive by persistently doing what you’ve always been doing - simply because it has worked in the past. One way to boost your longevity chances is to practise innovation.

What follows is a fantastic example of how innovation not only ensured long-term success for one family business, but created a global phenomenon along the way.

The Nutella Example

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Podcast – Showcasing Our Women in Family Business E-book


Russ Haworth ( linkedin: records an amazing weekly podcast for family businesses.

We recently recorded this conversational podcast with him showcasing our women in family business e-book.

We discussed:

The changing roles of women in family businessesThe benefits family businesses can gain from engaging women in leadership rolesThe challenges women in family businesses face (and how to overcome)Some of the comments from the seven women featured in the bookAnd we both wrangled with that question featured in the book “What would you tell your 25-year old self?”.

You can listen to the podcast here:

And you can download the E-book here:

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New Year’s Resolutions for Your Family Business


A new year is a great time to reflect, refocus and of course, make resolutions. Traditionally, we do this on a personal level but why not consider it for your family business too? Here are a few areas to help get you started.

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4 Top Tips from Successful Women in Family Businesses

Family businesses account for around 70% of all businesses in Australia. And it seems women are leading the way, doing far better in leadership and management positions in family businesses than those in the non-family business sector. For example, 80% of family-owned businesses have at least one female director whereas only 17.7% of companies in the FTSE 100 have female directors.

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Guest Blog by Steve Legler - Enough for Rockefeller, Not for St Augustine

How Much is Enough for You?

Many family business leaders eventually confront the reality that simply doing more of the same to get more and more wealth is not the best use of their efforts.  When this happens, what should they do next instead?  It's different for everyone, but shifting their focus to the questions relating to the proper transition of all their family wealth to the next generation is often a good way to move forward and begin to look at what's truly important to leave a lasting legacy.- Steve Legler

I was reading a book about Coaching Questions* and I spotted a couple of complementary nuggets that I had a bit of trouble fitting together in my brain.

John D. Rockefeller

The first interesting notion came from a man whose name is likely familiar to most readers, John D. Rockefeller, and his response to the oft-heard question “How Much Is Enough?”

He reportedly replied “Just a little bit more”. What remains unclear is the tone with which it was delivered.

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The 3 P’s of Family Business Education and How They Improve Your Business

You won’t get anywhere without an education!’

It’s catchphrase countless parents have used over time and rightly so. But when it comes to your own family business, do you apply the same line of thinking? In this post, we explore some key ways family business education can enrich your working life and family.

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Our Latest Tool- Women in Family Business E-Book

At Insights we are committed to producing resources that equip and inspire the families behind family owned businesses to increase their effectiveness and success.

Our latest offering is an e-book presenting family business through the eyes of the women who lead and work in them – across diverse ages, cultures, roles and ownership models.

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Family Business 101: Are You Ready for Family Meetings?


At Insights, we know first-hand that communication is at the heart of every successful family business. Many families dread the thought of a formal meeting, but we greatly admire those families that take bold, decisive action to encourage healthy communication.

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Five Women in Family Business Who Inspire Us

This month we wanted to highlight some truly influential women in family businesses. From Australian start-up founders to multinational directors, their stories are both unique and inspirational. 

Sue Ismiel founded waxing company, Nad’s, after experimenting with hair-removal formulas at her kitchen table in 1991. It has since expanded into a $42 million empire and she aims to list the business within two years. After recently appointing a CEO to handle the day-to-day running of the business, Sue has been freed up to concentrate on philanthropy through her foundation, Sue Ismiel & Daughters. When her three daughters inherit the company, she will be one of the first Australian female business founders to hand over the reins to a second generation of women.

Vanessa Katsanevakis took over as director of Sussex Taps from her ailing father, after her brother turned down a position at the company. Although she was in her late twenties at the time and entering a male dominated high-end tapware business, she discovered she could empathise with their key demographic – women aged between 35 and 50. Vanessa has her own distinctive vision for Sussex, centred on bespoke customisation, innovation, beautiful design and the expression of individual tastes.

Like many others, Caroline Lubbers joined her mother’s hospitality company after gaining valuable high-end experience outside of the family business. She is passionate about empowering women to develop their own leadership style and, together with an NGO, has set up Equipoise, an international network of women working in the cocoa and chocolate industries. Caroline now has a role on the board of her global family business as well as continuing to run her social enterprise.

Michael Hill International, retail jewellers based in New Zealand, handed the reins over to daughter Emma Hill in 2015, a decision taken in part to retain its sense of family-run romance and soul. She was groomed for leadership for many years, serving as deputy chair in 2011, and is now the chairwoman of the business with an estimated worth of over $600 million. Keen to make her mark on the company, Emma launched Emma & Roe in 2014, a sideline label specialising in interchangeable jewellery. It has expanded to 20 stores across Australia and New Zealand, and Emma hopes it will eventually grow to the size of Michael Hill, or bigger.

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Stuck? Not Progressing Your Family Business Challenge?

“You do not need the best possible organization while you are alive; you need the best possible organization that can survive.”

Every family business faces challenges. Some are easily resolved, but others, especially those involving several family members, can take years to make headway on.

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Family Business, Where Are You Taking This Rocket You’ve Built?

Unfortunately, many families become so involved in the day-to-day running of their business that they lose sight of their long-term aspirations.

Investing the time to develop and maintain a shared vision is crucial, as it ensures there are coherent beliefs in place to unify your family and business for the long term.

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Women in Family Businesses - Invisible Giants


The importance of women in family business cannot be understated. From the late ‘90s to 2015, the amount of women running family companies has quintupled.

Despite this progress, less than a quarter of the average family firm’s executive team is composed of women. While women wait for greater acceptance as equals in the business world, many are hard at work behind the scenes.

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Can Sharing Family Stories This Christmas Improve Your Family Business Outcomes?



“… if you want a happier company, team, unit ,organization or family, you need to capture their core identity by creating, refining and retelling your story. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come”

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Look at the Data: Family Farms Have a Problem


Australia’s family farm owners are five times more likely than the average person to still be working over the age of 65, and that could be a problem. Too many family farms are ignoring succession planning and appear unprepared to pass on their business to the next generation.

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Easy Tips for Family Business Leadership


“First recognize that for any group or organisation to be successful it needs to be led, managed and governed well”  John A Davis,PhD Harvard Business School

Most family businesses fail because they lack the discipline, governance structure and leadership to handle all of the challenges they are going to face. They mishandle or fail to plan for succession transitions. They do not communicate effectively in both family and business. They ignore the need for innovation in a fast-moving world.

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Want Your Family Business to Survive? Start Innovating.


Here’s How:

If you operate or work in a family business, you’re part of a very Darwinian food chain. Everyone knows the statistics: fewer than 1/3rd of family businesses make it to a second generation. Approximately 10-15% make it to a third generation. Less than one-in-twenty make it to a fourth.

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Tell Us Your Family Business Challenge

Every family business has challenges. What are yours? We can customise online learning to meet your specific challenge. Leave your details here and we will be in touch to tell you more.

Contact Info GPO Box 1784 Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4001 | Tel: +61 (7) 3067 3473 |