The Next Generation Will Find Its Own Way

An ability to change requires a healthy governance structure. The longer lived the business, the higher the likelihood that ownership is dispersed across more people. To defuse the tensions and disagreements that can arise in this situation, family firms should consider adopting an open culture with clear mechanisms to address disputes and guide future investments. An open culture also means transparency on succession planning, according to Ben Gough, a New Zealand-based entrepreneur and investor who runs his family office. “What happens with life beyond me is a question that leads to both interesting and uncomfortable conversations,” says Gough. “When my demise ultimately does occur, I know the governance structure will ensure a smooth transition and more stability for the organization.”

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