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Lessons Learned From 100-Year Family Businesses

Very few family businesses survive across generations to become 100-year family enterprises. I’m involved in an ongoing research project that’s gathering the collective wisdom of intergenerational families who have sustained shared family values and identity, along with partnership in successful business and financial ventures, over three or more generations. (We refer to them as “generative families.”)

We asked family leaders to look back at their evolution and tell us what they’ve done to succeed across generations. We’ve interviewed family leaders from 70 families who created strong, coherent, united and vital families over several generations, despite facing complex internal and external challenges. What enabled them to succeed against such odds? Their wisdom can guide the creators of new wealth to build their own families for the future.

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