“The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook is a must-read for family business owners, family members, advisors and employees. Easy (and dare I say fun!) to read, the authors mix great storytelling with actionable guidance and advice. Highly recommend!”
— Robert Pasin, CEO of 3rd generation family business Radio Flyer
“In my opinion, this is ‘the handbook’ for family business owners and an essential read, highlighting some of the pressures placed on families in business together, but with insights and suggestions as to how to start a conversation. Open and honest conversations are something that I refer to regularly and this book is a good place to start and will undoubtedly help many families in business realise the need to talk, to discuss the challenges and find a way forward that works for them. Definitely one for the reading list!”
— Paul Andrews, Family Business United
What You Will Learn in the Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook:
Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer draw on their years of experience helping family businesses through transitions to provide thoughtful and practical guidance in the Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook.
- How to decode your family business by understanding the influence of key individuals, multidimensional relationships, and system dynamics
- Why ownership brings with it the power to either destroy your business or position it to thrive across generations
- How to identify your type of family business and determine if it needs to change for your business to prosper
- How to build the governance structures and processes necessary for good decisions
- How to develop an Owner Strategy that defines success for your business
- How to create an approach to communication that helps you foster the trusted relationships your family business depends on to thrive
- How to establish a transition plan for your business to set up the next generation for success rather than conflict
- How to work effectively and succeed in your family business
- How to manage your family’s wealth responsibly
- How to get the level of conflict just right
- How to build a family office
- How to build a family business that endures across generations
- How to minimize the risk of losing what you have built
“This is an invaluable and comprehensive guide to help you build, grow, and position your family business to thrive across generations.”
— Midwest book Review
What Readers Say About This Book
Want your family business to endure, not just for years, but for generations? This is the book for you! Baron and Lachenauer fully understand the challenges and opportunities of family businesses and provide excellent and actionable guidance and advice. As a mother and daughter in a 5th generation family business, we know such guidance is invaluable. This Handbook is approachable and a great resource for every generation.
— Pamela Mars Wright and Charlotte Rossetter, 4th and 5th generation Mars family
WOW!!! This is a must read. Running a 4th generation family business, I have read A LOT of books on the subject. Hands down The HBR Family Business Handbook is the most succinct, applicable and useful of them all. I read it cover to cover. This will be a dog-eared book on my bookshelf and referenced often. Easy to read, but full of substance, the handbook covers everything you need to guide your family business across generations!
— Dr. Jodi Berg, 4th generation President & CEO, Vitamix
Family businesses are not for the faint of heart. Even in the best of situations, the complex relationships between family and business are hard to navigate. The authors of The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook bring the experience, insight, and wisdom to help families wrestle through hard decisions and land in better places. I highly recommend this book.
— Bill Haslam, Haslam Family Capital, former Governor of Tennessee and President of Pilot Flying J
Our family’s legacy has always been steeped in a foundation of core values and a heart of service. As described in The HBR Family Business Handbook, Banyan’s approach is genuine, thorough, balanced and wholistic, effectively ensuring our legacy is alive vs. historical. The tools, tactics and strategies detailed in the Handbook meaningfully impacted our family’s successful generational transition to the 4th generation and aligned strongly with our philosophy of Values Based Leadership.
— Peter J. Holt and Corinna Holt Richter, 4th Generation Owners of HOLT CAT
Purpose-driven, values-based, people-focused generational family businesses can and do change the world. They create and retain jobs, they enhance communities, and they provide all of their stakeholders with opportunities to pursue work that really matters. But, all of this can only happen if they first run a great business. The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook shows you how!
— Steve Shifman, President & CEO of multi-generational family business Michelman
Family Owned Businesses — the pride of generations of families and, for that matter, all Americans — are the backbone of so many communities. They create vast economic opportunity and value for their owners and employees. The HBR Family Business Handbook lays out in proven fashion the frameworks, tools, and advice that should be instrumental to families to propel their businesses over many multiples of generations. A must read and invaluable resource.
— Douglas R. Oberhelman, Retired Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.
“…helps business families learn to live and work together while creating both family harmony and a thriving business.”
“Family business is a team sport. You win together and you can lose together.”
“Unlike public companies, in which market forces dictate nearly all decisions, family business owners get to write their own rules, fundamentally shaping not just the business but the family as well.”
“This three-generation rule is destructive because it creates an inferiority complex for family business owners, who believe their business, and family, are doomed to fail. That point of view, in turn, creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“The right to define success typically translates into three possible outcomes for the business—do you prioritize growth, liquidity, or control?”
“Strong relationships sustain your family business across generations and help you compete with companies that may have more resources.”
“Given your influence not only as an owner, but as a parent, an aunt, an uncle, or a grandparent, how you handle this transition will also determine how well the next generation develops the capabilities required to succeed you, both as individuals and while working together as a group.”
Dr. Josh Baron
Dr. Josh Baron is a co-founder and Partner at BanyanGlobal. For more than a decade, he has worked closely with families who own assets together, such as operating companies, family foundations, and family offices. He helps these families to define their purpose as owners and to establish the structures, strategies, and skills they need to accomplish their goals. Prior to Banyan, he worked at Bain & Company and The Bridgespan Group. Baron teaches family business courses at Columbia Business School in the MBA, EMBA, and Executive Education programs. He is a regular contributor to HBR.org, and publishes and speaks frequently on subjects concerning family enterprises, including “Why the 21st Century Will Belong to Family Businesses,” “Why Family Businesses Need to Find the Right Level of Conflict,” and “Every Business Owner Should Define What Success Looks Like.” A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Cambridge, and Columbia University, he is also the author of Great Power Peace and American Primacy: The Origins and Future of a New International Order.
Rob Lachenauer, a co-founder, Partner and CEO of BanyanGlobal, has been an advisor, business leader, and writer throughout his career. As an advisor, he was a Partner at The Boston Consulting Group, where he helped family-controlled and other businesses set and implement growth strategies. While at BCG, he co-authored Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win? with George Stalk. Published by Harvard Business School Press in 2004, Hardball was subsequently translated into six languages. As the founding CEO of Banyan, Lachenauer has worked closely with scores of family businesses throughout the world, helping them navigate the decisions they face as owners while strengthening family relationships. He is an expert in leadership and governance for family businesses. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Cornell University, Lachenauer is also a frequent contributor to HBR.org, including “Making Better Decisions in Your Family Business,” “What Happens When You Lose Your Mentor,” and “Why I Hired an Executive with a Mental Illness.”