Assessing the Feasibility of the Dream

I have argued that agreement on a Shared Dream is an essential first step in planning for succession, and that this Dream usually envisions a future business form. The future business form may be only vaguely defined at first, and it may or may not equate with the realities of the family and the business as both evolve over time. The Dream must be continually reassessed and, if necessary, reworked, to conform with new information about the business and about the family. Families also need to recognize that the three basic family business forms—the controlling-owner business, the sibling partnership, and the cousin consortium—call for very different approaches to the exercise of leadership and authority. ...

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