VIDEO: Lessons from Longstanding Family Companies

On this episode of The Family Business Voice, Dennis Jaffe, author and family office consultant, spoke to Ramia about his latest book, Borrowed from my Grandchildren: The Evolution of Stewardship in 100-Year Families, and what we can learn from these longstanding companies in times of crisis. Borrowed from my Grandchildren is less of a how-to manual and more of a collection of shared wisdom from families that have gone the distance – a wealth of insight into the experience of enterprising generations.

While the families Jaffe surveyed may not yet have survived the economic fallout of COVID-19, they have survived other crises over their operational tenures, and their resiliency provides a framework for sustainability through this and other downturns.

– Successful multigenerational family businesses tend to have healthy relationships between the principal owners. Often, they are united by a common goal beyond financial success; their values bind them together and keep them on track.

– Generally, the subsequent generations of successful multigenerational family businesses are actively building wealth rather than just living off it. Determined next-gens look for meaningful ways to put their families’ fortunes to good use.

– Large corporations can learn from family businesses by developing more long-term thinking. They should look to reinvest their money and clarify their financial values.

– With each generation comes strengths that the previous generation does not necessarily have. Not only does each generation bring its strengths to the alliance, but they are also willing to collaborate.