From a Family Business to a Business Family: A Case Study
Family Corporation, a fourth-generation company with over 200 shareholders and
dozens of family members employed, was facing stagnating performance and decision-making
gridlock. Recognizing they were at a transformational crossroads, family
leadership made the difficult decision to shift from a "family business” to a "business
family” utilizing the help of an outside advisor.
the over-identification of many family members with the business, dramatic
changes were made to the organizational leadership structure which affected family
member employment, entitlement, and accountability. In the subsequent ten
years, revenue has doubled and stock value has more than quadrupled.
case study approach, the path of this transformation will be discussed by the
advisor who led the process (and soon after joined the company as a senior
executive), detailing the minefields and key opportunities that influenced family
decision-makers through this complex restructuring, as well as the impact on
the effected family members caught in the aftermath.
will gain a practical understanding of the distinction between "Family Business”
and "Business Family,” drawing from the complex dynamics of this case study
with real-world implications.
About the Speaker:
James B. Wood is Sr. Vice President of Clemens Family Corporation, a
$750 million family-owned agribusiness and real estate concern based in
Hatfield PA. He has extensive experience working with emerging, family-held,
and middle market companies. Prior to joining CFC, Mr. Wood was
the Director of Entrepreneurial Services for Ernst & Young’s New England
consulting practice, targeting middle market growth companies in the
Previously, he was with
Inc. magazine, where he
launched and managed Inc.'s
Growth Strategy Consulting Group, providing advisory services to Inc.’s audience of fast-growth
companies. In this capacity, he consulted with literally hundreds of privately-held
CEO’s in a wide variety of industries on effective growth management and
developed best practices for effectively planning and managing growth.
is author of the book, The Next Level: Essential Strategies for Breakthrough
Growth (Perseus Press). His article "Business Family vs. Family Business” was
recently featured in the Jan-Feb issue of Family Business Magazine.