Is there a silver lining?
Is there a silver lining?
Being part of a family is sometimes like being an actor in a play. Every member plays a part in what can feel like permanently assigned roles. Until now...
This long slog is requiring more of everyone. Now Gens and Next Gens are having a moment working together in response to the COVID-19 economic and public health crisis. Now Gens need the innovative ideas, optimism, and energy that Next Gens can bring to a prolonged crisis. Now Gens tell me of the surprising and energizing performances of their children, nieces, and nephews. They are seeing a pattern repeated, of generations working together through a crisis. Now it’s their turn to offer Next Gens the reassurance of history, sharing lessons they learned overcoming past crises.
The truth is, multi-generational businesses have embedded in the next generation the entrepreneurial qualities that can carry family businesses through a crisis. Now Gens lean into the energy of the Next Gens. Next Gens lean in to help. The understudy and the lead can change their roles, each offering the talent and best performance for the greater good of the business and family. The show goes on.
We are collecting stories to help family businesses
I am collecting some stories and so are some researchers. For the next few weeks we will continue to drop friendly reminders to participate:
- COVID-19 Global Family Business Survey
The Family Business Center is seeking family businesses to participate in a global survey to collect information on actions taken by leaders of businesses and business families contending with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the survey is to identify 'best practices' implemented in family businesses around the world and to provide family business owners with actionable advice as quickly as possible. Take the survey.
- Stories of Resilience
We are pulling together stories of resilience from family businesses during the time of COVID-19. We hope to compile these as a set and share them at a later date. If you have a story to share, please email it to me. If you need help writing your story, let me know; I can put you in touch with a writer who is helping with this project.
- Shareholder Distribution
I am looking for stories from family businesses who have had to change or alter their shareholder distribution policy because of COVID-19. If you’re willing to share your story, please email me. I will redact your information when sharing with FBC members requesting this type of information.
Summer learning: family business classes for all ages
- Young Adult Family Business Camp (Ages 14-22)
June and July sessions
Teens and young adults from family businesses often feel like they and their families are different. They may not know why, but they know they are protective of sharing information about their families and the business. Our job is to help them normalize their experience and bring them together to meet other next gens from family businesses. This summer, Loyola FBC is running a live, online camp for teens and young adults who belong to a family business. The class will introduce young adults and teens to each other and to our family business learning community. If you’re a parent who is interested in learning more, please fill out this form and we’ll follow-up soon.
- Next Generation Leadership Institute (Ages 28-45)
Late Summer or September
One of our favorite programs is the Next Generation Leadership Institute (NGLI). For nearly 30 years we’ve been preparing Next Gens to lead in their family businesses. This year, we postponed our May launch date in necessary observance of COVID-19 restrictions. Now we have a new plan.
- Build a class of 10 Next Gens
- Establish three launch date options for the opening retreat
- Build the entire class schedule based on the preferences of our participants
- Practical Accounting and Finance for Family Business (Ages 18+)
Did you know that each of us has our own “Psychology of Money?” This popular class returns, live and online, while retaining the confidentiality and adaptability to engage both the non-financial manager and the interested shareholder. Learn to read a balance sheet, understand financial terms, and connect with other members of family businesses. Learn more and register.
Support your local small businesses
During the first 3 months of COVID-19, middle market family businesses rolled up their sleeves; applied for and won PPP; and leaned into their boards, family members, and leadership teams. You’ve survived and some even thrived. Loyola FBC member businesses skew larger ($25M-$2B) and average 50+ years of continuous ownership. Your histories include long term community support, employee commitment, and longevity. Most of you will come through this crisis and be here for another generation.
Small businesses also contribute to long-term economic stability. We know that some industries (travel, hospitality, restaurants, etc.) have been hit hard and many small businesses won’t make it. The loss of these businesses, the impact on families, employees, and their communities will exact a price that we don’t like to imagine. Read Chicagoan Robert C Wolcott’s thoughtful essay describing the contributions small businesses make to the quality of life and fabric of our communities here.
The cure for rumination and worry can often be helping someone else. This week, let’s focus on supporting local small businesses in any way we can.
We can all help by:
- Buying gift cards to local restaurants, shops, salons, dry cleaners, independent contractors, and other small businesses.
- Use the gift cards for yourself or gift them to your employees and first responders
- Buy gift cards in bulk and donate them to places of worship; community orgs like the YMCA, YWCA, JCC’s; mental health organizations, food pantries or childcare organizations who will distribute them to individuals and families in need.
Lastly, if you are a small business or know of one that might need support, Loyola's Leadership Hub is offering discounted services to small business owners and nonprofits who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All you have to do is fill out this form to get more info.
Anybody ready for a break?
Next time you take the dog for a walk, listen to a great interview with an expert on Winston Churchill’s first year in office. What does Winston Churchill have to teach us? Listen here: author Eric Larson’s short interview of lessons from a leader at a time of national crisis.
It’s been a long, short week. Thanks for reading to the bottom. Please take good care of yourselves and let us know if you need help or resources. Loyola is here for you.