How to Build Upon the Legacy of Your Family Business — and Make It Your Own

How to Build Upon the Legacy of Your Family Business — and Make It Your Own


Founded by Henry Ford in 1903, the Ford Motor Company rocketed to success by mass-producing reliable, low-priced automobiles. When Henry’s son, Edsel, took the helm in 1918, he championed a different strategy for a new era. He sought to replace the Model T — iconic but outdated — with a more modern design geared to […]

How Midsize Companies Can Access Capital in Turbulent Times

How Midsize Companies Can Access Capital in Turbulent Times


Two years ago, I wrote a Harvard Business Review article about how middle market companies were under-served and over-charged for capital transactions. Nowadays, with all the turbulence in financial markets, a new kind of squeeze is on for mid-sized companies. For the past year or more, all kinds of economic warning signs have been flashing […]

Leading a Midsize Business Through Change

Leading a Midsize Business Through Change


One of the sacred principles of change management is “stakeholder involvement,” i.e. engaging and including people who will be affected by the change in the process of making it happen. GE’s well known “change acceleration model,” or CAP, refers to it as “mobilizing commitment.” Kotter’s eight-step framework for change emphasizes doing this through “building a […]

A winning strategy for growth investors at a time of uncertainty

A winning strategy for growth investors at a time of uncertainty


Growth equity has become one of private equity’s fastest-growing segments in recent years, but today’s market uncertainty has slowed that momentum: 2022 was a year of disruption. Investors faced a multitude of downside risks, including geopolitical tension, energy and food scarcity, rising inflation and interest rates, stock market volatility, and supply challenges triggered by the war […]

The power of goodbye: How carve-outs can unleash value

The power of goodbye: How carve-outs can unleash value


The rationale for combining businesses into one company, or for splitting them apart, should be the same: to create more value. Yet we often hear leaders describe separations as the opposite of M&A integrations, at least in terms of “capturing value” in the near term. M&A, done well, unlocks value by realizing synergies. But it […]

Companies Gone Public in 2021: Visualizing IPO Valuations

Companies Gone Public in 2021: Visualizing IPO Valuations


The Companies that Defined 2021 Attention is an increasingly valuable form of currency in the Information Age. In 2021, a handful of companies stood out from the pack, dominating the conversation and influencing society in both positive and negative ways. After vigorous internal debate, here is Visual Capitalist’s list of companies that defined 2021: We […]

How Midsize Firms Can Attract — and Retain — Talent Right Now

How Midsize Firms Can Attract — and Retain — Talent Right Now


While companies of all sizes are struggling to keep and find people during the Great Resignation, it’s hitting the middle market especially hard — and middle-market companies often find themselves with an inadequate toolkit to address the problem. The same old approaches aren’t working in the crisis and will not build the capabilities companies will […]

When Trusting Your Family Hurts Your Family Business

When Trusting Your Family Hurts Your Family Business


Globally, family businesses comprise 75% of all firms and contribute 65% to GDP. However, evidence of whether families improve or impair their companies’ performance remains mixed and is ardently debated. In order to better understand the findings of prior studies, we conducted a meta-analysis (together with the University of Trier’s Joern Block and Dominik Wagner of IUBH […]

When an Iconic Founder Overshadows the Family Business


Sometimes a founder’s image is so publicly associated with his or her company, one rarely stops to ask, “Who is that person?” A few, such as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Henry Ford, and Ralph Lauren become something even more than that; they become “iconic.” For many family businesses, having an iconic founder has […]

Have We Taken Agile Too Far?


The idea of “agile” thinking or innovation, along with its close cousin “lean,” has spread far beyond its product development and manufacturing roots. It’s not uncommon now to hear about the agile approach to budgeting, talent management, or even running a family meeting. Agile is a powerful process for product development, but many organizations are […]

The Ballooning Valuations In Private Equity Deals


The Briefing Private equity (PE) deal valuations by EV/EBITDA are increasingly rich and are hitting higher double-digit figures 2021 is expected to be another home run year for PE, with 20% of buyouts estimated to be priced above 20x EV/EBITDA The Ballooning Valuations In Private Equity Deals Private equity is getting increasingly expensive. As a […]

The World’s Top 10 Hedge Fund Managers by Earnings


The Briefing The top 10 hedge fund managers take home an average of $1.3 billion a year in earnings The hedge fund industry manages over $3 trillion in assets Hedge funds often have a two-and-twenty fee structure, charging 2% on all assets under management (AUM), and 20% on profits The Top 10 Hedge Fund Managers […]

How Midsize Companies Can Adapt to Changing Demand


Because they’re smaller than large companies and less encumbered by bureaucracy, midsize companies have an opportunity to take advantage of the market changes that will persist post-Covid (some permanently). The ones that delay risk permanently losing their market position. Big companies can inadvertently stymie innovation, whereas midsize firms have an ideal mix of sufficient financial strength, […]

Research: Joint Ventures that Keep Evolving Perform Better


Successful companies actively manage their businesses through periods of economic growth, downturn, and recovery. They do so by innovating, making strategic shifts, rewiring existing operations, reallocating resources, entering new business lines, and restructuring existing ones. For most companies, joint ventures and other partnerships are a critical part of the equation. Companies like Amazon, GlaxoSmithKline, Lockheed […]

WFH Doesn’t Have to Dilute Your Corporate Culture


The pandemic pushed many organizations to become fully remote, and the experience has been better than many imagined. As a result, a hybrid working model that embraces the best of both remote and office-based work awaits many workers and companies on the other side of the crisis. Adapting to this new working model might seem […]

It’s Time to Replace the Public Corporation


The public corporation is no longer fit for purpose, and its popularity as an ownership model is declining. Why It Happens In today’s capital markets, the model incentivizes executives to manage in tiny, short-term windows, thus failing to satisfy the primary needs of its critical stakeholders: retirement investors and knowledge workers. How to Fix It […]

Build a Family Business That Lasts


The Paradox Family businesses are famous for power plays, backstabbing, and dramatic implosions. Yet some are among the most enduring companies in existence. Why It Matters Family-controlled firms represent some 85% of the world’s businesses. In the United States they employ 62% of the workforce. The Keys to Longevity The owners of a family business […]

A rolling disruption: COVID-19’s implications for private equity and portfolio companies | McKinsey


The global COVID-19 pandemic shows few signs of relenting—in fact, in addition to its dual burden on lives and livelihoods, it is triggering civil unrest, new concerns about economic inequality, geopolitical tensions, and many other effects. The pandemic is more than an epidemiological event; it is a complex of profound disruptions. The pandemic is more […]

Startups, It’s Time to Think Like Camels — Not Unicorns


Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images The world has changed. In the wake of Covid-19, and the global recession it has caused, business leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors are all girding for a long period of extremely challenging conditions in the global market. How can startups and innovators of all stripes survive in such conditions? Many are not […]

What Family Businesses Can Learn from the Military


Michael Davis/EyeEm/Getty Images The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted family businesses in unexpected ways. Many are dealing with anxious investors, a diminishing number of customers, and the challenges that come with managing newly remote teams. For many family-business leaders, managing this crisis has been overwhelming, as they’re grappling with stressed supply chains, plummeting employee morale, and […]

Your Family Business Needs a Deep Bench


Adrian Samson/Getty Images Whether business is booming or your organization is in the midst of a tough time, a crucial aspect of risk management is ensuring that your organization has bench strength — that employees have the depth of skill and experience to move easily into jobs of increasing responsibility. Is your staff prepared to […]

The Key to Successful Succession Planning for Family Businesses


Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images We reviewed more than thirty years of research on nonfamily employees in family businesses, and the findings suggest that contrary to conventional wisdom, the solution is not to discard family succession altogether. Our research actually finds that nonfamily employees often prefer family successors to nonfamily outsiders because of the family-like cultures that accompany family succession. Yet, […]

How Investors Can Navigate Pandemic-Related Risk in Emerging Markets


HBR Staff/artpartner-images/Getty Images Long after developed markets have Covid-19 relatively under control, the virus will remain a threat in emerging markets, where uneven governance, weak health systems, dense urban slums, and high rates of poverty multiply the challenges of fighting the pandemic. In a few countries there are already early signs of political instability and […]

A blueprint for M&A success


Large mergers and acquisitions (M&A) tend to get the biggest headlines, but executives should be paying attention to all the small deals, too. These smaller transactions, when pursued as part of a deliberate and systematic M&A program, tend to yield strong returns over the long run with comparatively low risk. And, based on our research, […]

Leading marketing and sales with purpose


“Without empathy, nothing works.” 1 1. Sean Gregory, “ ‘Without empathy, nothing works.’ Chef José Andrés wants to feed the world through the pandemic,” TIME, March 26, 2020, That quote, from José Andrés, a celebrity chef who also founded and runs the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, highlights the reasoning behind the organization’s mission: to […]