as our fellow traveller and illuminatus profondus Mr. Jozef Lievens rightly illustrates: crisis-times are Borat-style "Happy Times". In spite of gloomy outlooks, the case for family entrepreneurs and business cannot be over-advocated; some arguments to that are:
- reputation of a fambus is better, instantly recognizable and is worth more than gold: when Paul Janssen walked into the room, you knew you were dealing with Janssen Pharma. When Paul Johnson walks into the room, you've got a hard time believing he really belongs to the Johnson & Johnson families...
- experience & closeness to the business is something that is indeed "viral"; daughters watch their fathers work, and get intimate knowledge of products, allies, clients and work ethos; something outsiders have more of a hard time mastering in any case.
- family business can decide around the kitchen table: whereas this is true for many 1st & 2nd generation type fambus, the more "professionalized" you become, increasingly it becomes important to structure the decision making processes (and to leave room for exceptions, leeway etc...)
- a more "learning" company? the implication of potential successors can indeed be at earlier ages, which can cancel out the need for experience
- relations & trust: well there is a 100% self-fullfilling prophecy: trust or go bust
- and the most crucial aspect of all; networking capabilities and linking: Jef strikes the right cord here but difficult to "mandate", "reward" or recognize since soooo intangible and dependent on externalities such as in-bred potential
all in all: go read: www.familiebedrijf.be