Larry – Where to begin… I am amazed or dazed by how this change is unfolding. It is simply beautiful! Your guidance, coaching, and unwavering focus on our needs and desires has seen us through. Your ability to setup the change, present the new system, and handle all the dynamics/behaviors in between has made this all possible. We are grateful for your role in this change.
Thank you for leading our productive meetings the past two days and forming a positive momentum for our work ahead. I am very pleased with all that we accomplished and impressed with your commitment to keep us focused and on task. Thank you for dealing with our dynamics and handling us each individually with attention and respect. I have heard all positive comments from family members about the work we are doing with you. Everyone is pleased with your leadership.
“The Board’s Role in Preparing a Private Company for a Change in Ownership”
- Terrific format
- Very informative
- Excellent discussion with practical good ideas to maintain company health and family cohesiveness
Thank you for your appearance at the Closely Held Business Conference last week. I enjoyed working with you and we greatly appreciate your involvement. The course was a big success in terms of attendance and feedback from attendees. Your evaluation scores and comments are below (and your score was among the highest of the day):
Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn 6.7 (7 point scale)
- This was fascinating and thought provoking. Thank you! Excellent interactive format and exchange of ideas.That’s what CLE should be all about!
- Excellent idea for discussion, but one hour isn’t enough.
Thank you again for serving as faculty at the program. We really appreciate it, and I hope we can call on you again in the future.
“Chicken Soup for Family Shareholder”
Very Educational – We are currently looking at some re-structuring of shareholding for our company (for investor purposes) – This was very timely.
As you know, I have used your Balance System for the past several years. You may recall that I am a trustee of a trust that owns a business with about $60 million in revenue. I am also on the board of that company. As the technical “owner” of the business, I needed to make sure that there was a proper balance between the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust as the “true owners”, the trustee representing the income and remainder beneficiaries, the Board and Management.
After reading your book and some of your articles on these matters, I drafted an Owner Plan to make clear the needs and expectations of the owner as to the business’ future. Then I shared that with the Board and Management for their input, questions and clarification. This led to an excellent discussion and understanding between the three parties and preceded the final draft of the plan. We have had this in place since 2006 with some revisions during that time. It has been a great tool for decision making during the good business years, the Great Recession, and the slow recovery years since then.
So thank you for sharing your system with me and helping me in the drafting and implementation of the Owner Plan for the company.
THE BALANCE POINT is as much a “How to” on small business growth, control, and succession as it is about Boards of Directors. Boards of public companies is a model that simply won’t work for a closely-held or family business, which is what almost all growth-based entrepreneurial firms are. If I were still teaching Entrepreneurship in graduate school, as I did for ten years, this would be required reading.
This book should be a must read for owners and managers of any closely held company who want to minimize the significant risks associated with transitions among owners, managers, and family. A long-time client of mine has implemented many of the concepts presented by Cary and Larry. It is not an exaggeration to state that their approach has been life changing for the owners and nonfamily management of this highly successful manufacturing firm over the last five years. Among other things, the founder/owner/president/CEO/board chair evolved from [relying on] a strong board of advisors to an even stronger board of directors, hired a nonowner president, and is genuinely and comfortably pulling away from the business and recognizing the board as a true balance point between the business and the owners.
As a former practicing business and estate planning attorney, and current family wealth planning professional, I have helped closely held and family business owners work through transitions for most of my career. It is important to understand, that despite the best efforts of talented professionals, statistically 2/3 of all family business transitions fail. Why is that? In my experience, it is because much of the decision making processes for these businesses occurs within the entrepreneur’s mind, and there is a lack of structure and process for decision making when ownership is transitioned to multiple people or ownership and management are transitioned to different people. Add in some challenging family dynamics, and you have a recipe for disaster. What the authors have developed is a framework and process for decision making that entrepreneurs can understand and feel comfortable implementing, while at the same time, enabling family members and managers to understand their roles and responsibilities and operate together productively. The concepts presented are forward thinking and years ahead of their time. This book has literally challenged me to re-examine and refine every aspect of my professional practice. Highly recommended!
I truly believe that I have received great comfort as I have moved forward personally and professionally in implementing the program and process developed. The bottom line is that we are following the plan put forward by Larry and team and I personally am pleased with the results.