Entrepreneurs in Every Generation: How Successful Family Businesses Develop Their Next Leaders

Entrepreneurs in Every Generation: How Successful Family Businesses Develop Their Next Leaders


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Entrepreneurs in Every Generation: How Successful Family Businesses Develop Their Next Leaders by Allan R. Cohen, Pramodita Sharma

Discover What Makes Family Businesses Beat the Odds and Thrive over Generations

Families are complicated; family businesses even more so. Like other companies, family-run enterprises must develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. But they must also manage family dynamics that rarely mirror the best practices in the latest Harvard Business Review.

Allan Cohen and Pramodita Sharma, scholars with deep professional and personal roots in family businesses, show how enterprising families can transmit the hunger for excellence across generations. Using examples of firms that flourished and those that failed, they describe the practices that characterize entrepreneurial individuals, families, and organizations and offer pragmatic advice that can be tailored to your unique situation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626561663
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 06/06/2016
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Allan R. Cohen is the Edward A. Madden Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership at Babson College. He is the coauthor of the bestselling books Managing for Excellence and Influence without Authority.

Pramodita Sharma is the Daniel Clark Sanders Chair and Professor of Family Business at the University of Vermont and a visiting professor at the Kellogg School of Management. She is the editor of Family Business Review.

Read an Excerpt


The field of family business is undergoing dramatic change. The definition of success now surpasses firm survival and continuity to include family success. The family business field also recognizes that family success and sustainability increasingly embrace other forms of collective family purpose—joint philanthropy, new businesses, family offices, family cohesion, learning, and fun.

While most all family business writings focus on the business and/or the family, Entrepreneurs in Every Generation shows readers how success is assuring next generation entrepreneurial leadership in three dimensions: the business, the owning family, and the organization that nurtures both. Applying the entrepreneurial mind-set to all three dimensions, authors Allan Cohen and Pramodita Sharma define the challenges and the role for leadership; applying the entrepreneurial mind-set in all three dimensions is what sets family enterprises apart.

This book captures fresh insights by going beyond best practices. Viewed through the diverse lenses of the authors themselves, cases from all over the world are exciting to study and compelling to replicate. But the book goes further. In each dimension it not only reviews best practices, but it also urges special attention to the uniqueness of context. Even further, it guides the reader through helpful work sheets on how to understand and adapt to context. Fo r e w o r d xii Entrepreneurs in Every Generation

By examining how evolving and improving organizational practices fuel sustainability, the book’s lessons provide special insight into the art of continuity, providing actionable ideas on what successful entrepreneurs do and how they do it. By using the example of past generations to light the way for succeeding generations, nextgeneration entrepreneurial leaders can maximize the benefits of a family enterprise culture. The authors stimulate by highlighting many values that drive sustainability. Some of the values that stand out in their cases are

long-term thinking;
attending to all stakeholders;
adding value to customers;
hunger for excellence;
continuous improvement;
and walking in the shoes of others.

These common values remind readers that there are many age-old truths to synthesize with the new insights for next generation entrepreneurs.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for family leaders is how to lead change in a densely developed and long-established organization and/or family system. To address this challenge, the authors introduce a powerful and succinct model for leading change—the “Iron Laws of Influence for Enterprising Families.”

Pramodita Sharma and Allan Cohen are thought leaders in the new field of family enterprise, or enterprising families. Entrepreneurs in Every Generation champions growth—business growth, family growth, and organizational growth. Next-generation leaders have the talent to find the new ways to create that growth.

John L. Ward, Clinical Professor of Family Enterprises
Center for Family Enterprises
Kellogg School of Management
Chicago, USA

Table of Contents

1. Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurial Leaders
2. Developing Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills
3. Secrets of Successful Enterprising Families
4. Developing Enterprising Families
5. Secrets of Entrepreneurial Organizations
6. Developing Entrepreneurial Organizations
7. Action Planning--a Question of Balance and Timing

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