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Strategic Planning for the Family Business

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Strategic Planning for the Family Business

Parallel Planning to Unify the Family and Business

Palgrave Macmillan,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The downfall of many small businesses is the family itself.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Balancing the needs of a business and the family that controls it might seem like an overwhelming task, unless you tackle the challenge with a clear-headed plan. Randel S. Carlock and John L. Ward provide just such an approach by mapping out the strategies and structures needed to make a family business run smoothly. In so doing, they address family conflict, executive succession, ownership schemes and a host of other issues that can make or break a family business. highly recommends this book for its practical and applicable methods of striking a balance between the needs of business and the needs of family.


Stayin’ Alive

Keeping the family business alive and well is probably the toughest job in business. In addition to the unpredictable economy and rapidly evolving markets, today’s family business leader also must consider the impact of the Internet and other technologies. Too often, families that begin to attack these external challenges come to realize that it is the family itself that is the chief stumbling block to adaptation. Interpersonal conflict all too often becomes the family norm, to the detriment of the business. Some families, however, are able to successfully balance work and family systems in order to create an environment in which the family thrives and the business expands. Always putting family first, or favoring business to the exclusion of family welfare, won’t work. There must be a balance. Achieving this balance begins with the Parallel Planning Process (PPP).

Parallel Planning

PPP is a tool that can help you identify mutually supportive family and business goals. It begins with three foundations:

  1. The family’s values and business philosophies are the basis for any planning process.
  2. Thinking strategically...

About the Authors

Randel S. Carlock has some 25 years of experience as an executive and CEO. He is the Opus Endowed Professor of Family Enterprise at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, and an Affiliate Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD, Fontainebleau. John L. Ward is Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises at Northwestern University’s esteemed Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He is a founder of the Family Business Consulting Group International.

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