Failure to agree on personal, family, or business goals can lead a family business away from success. Transitioning a business between generations is no easy task, but with the right planning and communication, it can be made easier. Family meetings, strategic planning, and creating a board of advisors can all help increase the odds of surviving a succession. Still, generational differences, incompetency of emerging leaders, and lack of alignment can cause turmoil. Paul and David discuss the issues involved with family business succession plans and offer tips to overcome them. They also explain how selling the business may be the most valuable option for a family, and talk about everything that comes with selling the family business.
Paul Karofsky is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard Business School’s OPM Program. After 22 years, mostly as third generation CEO in his family’s distribution business, he sold the company and earned his Ed.M. from Harvard University focused on the psychosocial lives of families and intergenerational relationships. He is Executive Director Emeritus of Northeastern University’s Center for Family Business where he facilitated the Center’s Leadership Development Forum which was endowed and named in his honor. Paul is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Family Firm Institute and holds a Certificate in Family Business Advising with Fellow Status. He is a recipient of the Institute’s Hollander Award and a member of the faculty of FFI’s Global Education Network. Also trained as a mediator, Paul was a peer reviewer for Harvard University Press, a monthly columnist for BusinessWeek Online and Case Study Editor of Nation’s Business and Families in Business. Married for forty-six years, he and his wife have two children and four grandchildren. He serves, internationally, as a consultant to families, businesses and educational institutions.
David Karofsky has over 20 years of experience coaching individuals and working with companies to excel, grow and outperform their competition. Focused on helping executives develop superior management and communication skills to become more effective leaders, David’s counseling and corporate consulting background includes program design and development and senior management team alignment. David has been trained in Team Building, Strategic Decision Making, Effective Communication, and Performance Enhancement. David’s interest in family business consulting was launched with his course work in family business dynamics at the Cambridge Center for Creative Enterprise. The recipient of multiple achievement awards, David has been a guest speaker internationally and is a mentor to current and former MBA students at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business and serves on the Marketing Career Track Advisory Board. A founding member and chair of the Boston chapter of the Young President’s Organization’s Young Adult Forum, and member of the Family Firm Institute, David received his A.B. from Bowdoin College, Ed.M. from Boston University in Counseling Psychology and MBA from Northeastern University.