How to get it done

How to get it done

Strategy—also known as how we will get things done—is especially useful to think about as we emerge from COVID restrictions. On April 12th we held a webinar that kicked off a yearlong series looking at strategy and its applications across the family business enterprise. 
Over the past 12+ months, we saw many of our member companies innovate their way through workforce challenges, supplier disruptions, and customer deserts to come through to safety. Now it’s time to share what worked. How did they do it? What are the plans for the next 9 months? We want members to share what they'll keep and what they'll leave behind from this tumultuous year.

Learn more about our Strategy Series and what to expect from our spring and fall conferences here.

Orientation: it's a lock

On April 12, special guest Dr. Torsten Pieper, known for his groundbreaking work in family business strategy, got us thinking about ways to adapt, innovate, and become more agile. Slides from his webinar can be found here.

Finding your people

Career and leadership strategies in family business are often more complex and nuanced for women than men. We are excited to bring important conversations and a variety of models of work and career to the 8th Annual Women in Family Business event happening Monday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to noon (CDT). Reimagined as a live online program with small group breakouts, this event remains notable for the important personal connections women make with one another, and the opportunity to learn how other women traverse their career, family ownership, management, and life trajectories.

Special guest Lizzie Ephraim of Modern Process Equipment will share her own family business career journey. Her story blends learning to honor her values and herself while balancing family responsibilities and a career path. Like many other women, she has done this while standing alongside a beloved and iconic father and leader.

Be ready to share and learn together in breakout rooms with guided facilitation. This program is perfect for women at any stage of their career working in or outside of their family business. Visit our event page for more info.

It’s all about the Ladeeeeez….

Just kidding—but women are really having a moment this month! I was honored to be included in a group of women family business advisors and university-based center directors interviewed for a recent FamilyBusiness.org article about women’s influence and effectiveness in advising and supporting the family business system. Read more here.

Ferris Bueller, you're my hero

Not only is this an iconic line from an iconic movie, it’s also how we’re feeling about so many of you and your family businesses. You have been heroic in your actions and your efforts to keep your employees and families safe and your businesses operating. We know the struggles have been large and mostly borne behind the scenes. This is what we will remember about the past year.

  • You have been committed to your workforce and have been a source of sustainable and predictable employment—retaining employees for the long term and investing in ways to support families and workers in the community. 
  • You gave generously—corporate and family philanthropy grew in size and scope in your communities, coming to the aid of food pantries, community shelters, short term housing needs, and donations of PPE for healthcare workforce safety.
  • You shared your safety, training, and public health education opportunities with each other and other businesses.
  • You led by example, with family members quietly helping the local economy and the people who live there.

Thank you for your leadership, and know that we are not the only one noticing what you’ve done.

What I'm reading, watching, and listening to

GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Not a new book but really applicable for our world today.

In honor of the increasing numbers of COVID vaccinations and their positive impact on business in the US and abroad, here’s a a little vaccine humor.
Finally: please take 5 minutes and watch this aspirational and inspirational Worldwide Dance Challenge; and here's some music to take you through April.

I hope to see you this month or very soon. Until then, please call or write. We’d love to hear from you.

Anne Smart
Director, Family Business Center
April 21, 2021