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The Family Business Podcast

The Family Business Podcast

Author: Family Business Podcast

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The podcast dedicated to Family Business. Working with your family can be both rewarding and challenging and this podcast provides you with practical tips and guidance on how to tackle some of these challenges.

Upcoming series on Governance, Succession, Family Dynamics and Family Business Theory will explore the uniqueness of family businesses and provide you with the tools to help your business thrive.
77 Episodes
Crisis Management

Crisis Management


We are in unprecedented times at the moment and will be facing challenges and decisions for the very first time in our lives. We have a panel of experts on this weeks show who discuss ways in which we can act that have served family businesses well during previous crises.  I speak with Simone Møkster the Managing Director of Family Business Norway, Elizabeth Bagger the Director General of the Institute for Family Business, Alex Scott who is a 4th generation family business member and one of the founders of the Institute for Family Business and John Learmonth, MD of Deanbridge International and publisher of The European Family Investment Company. John has published an article that looks at what families in business can learn from the last major crisis that the world faced in World War 2. You can find the article here: You can also find more about John here: ( You can find out more about Family Business Norway here: ( You can find out more about the IFB and the work they are doing here in the UK here: ( and you can find out more about Alex Scott and his business here: ( As ever I am here to support you in any way I can, just drop me an email
With Corona Virus impacting more and more businesses and people around World, I follow up our last episode with an interview with Martin Stepek. Martin is a mindfulness coach and also a family business expert and so can offer unique insights into how to use mindfulness at times of extreme stress. Martin's own family business went into administration in the early 2000's and he found that during that extremely difficult time he was able to use his mindfulness practice to help him through. You can find out more about Martin at the following sites:
Corona Virus is having a huge impact on the lives of us all. It is a scary time when we are fearful for our families health and well-being and our businesses. Family businesses across the world will be trying to balance all of the conflicting priorities that exist and will need support to do so. In this episode I offer guidance as to where to get advice, where to get support and some tips on remote working and remaining positive during this exceptionally difficult time. The resources we mentioned in the episode are as follows: ( ( ( You can email Fiona: As always you can contact me at
Should You Hire A Website Designer or Design Your Website Yourself?  In this podcast episode, we’re talking about family business websites. I’m chatting to Martin and Lyndsay, a husband and wife team, who run Jammy Digital - a WordPress Web Design Agency ( .  A website isn’t just a ‘shop window’, it is a tool that can generate leads and sales 24/7. Unfortunately, a lot of family businesses don’t realise the potential of their websites, and they’re often left abandoned or under-utilised.  In this episode, we tell you how you can use your website to its maximum potential. We discuss... When to spend money on a web designer  Spending thousands on a website isn’t always the best option. In fact, Martin and Lyndsay recommend that you only invest in a website designer when you’re most likely to see a return on investment. In this episode, we discuss when to invest and when to build your own website ( . And the discussion may surprise you!    Mistakes that family businesses make with their websites  There are some common mistakes family businesses make with their websites, which could have an impact on sales. Family business owners have a tendency to make their websites about them and their family, which is of course, important, however, this does mean that there’s a lack of focus on the potential customer. In this episode, we discuss the common mistakes family businesses make with their websites and how to fix them.  What to do if you’re on a budget with your website  People often think they must spend thousands on a website in order to get good results, but often this is not the case. Actually, it’s the work you put into the website once it’s live that makes all the difference. So we also discuss what to do if you’re on a budget with your website and how you can still get the most out of it.  When to redesign your website  A website redesign is time-consuming and costly, so you need to be careful about how often you do it. We also discuss how often you should redesign your website, or what you can do instead to see if you can increase leads and sales through your site.  Resources Jammy Digital ( Make Your Mark Online  ( Jammy Digital Facebook Group ( Website Questionnaire (   
Kenda and Mike Macdonald own and run Automation Ninjas, a marketing automation business. Their journey into ownership wasn't a straight forward one but they have created an award winning business that creates amazing customer journeys using buyer psychology and marketing automation. In this showcase episode we discuss why your business may also benefit from understanding more about how your customers think. You can connect with Kenda here: ( You can find their website here: (
Over the course of this series on Governance we have covered a lot of different topics and so this episode brings the series to an end with a summary of all the different governance topics and how they all knit together. Making the decision to implement any of these governance forums takes time and care and perseverance and so I discuss how to approach the discussions with your family. As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance
Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance


In this episode we look at Corporate Governance and in particular the Wates Principles. The Wates Principles are a set of Corporate Governance principles that some large businesses need to report against. In this episode I discuss these principles and how they can be adapted and adopted by your Family Business. I also look at some of the legal structures that can be put in place to protect the shareholders in the business should disputes arise or deadlocks appear in your voting. You can find the Wates Principles here: ( As ever if you need any help with implementing these into your own business, I am here to help. Email me or find me on Linked In 'Russ Haworth ACFBA' or @RussHaworth on Twitter.
The appointment of a Non-Executive Director is a key milestone in the evolution and professionalisation of a family business. They bring experience, expertise and an independent voice to your board meetings and they are there to challenge the executive directors, in a constructive way to help you push the business towards its strategic goals. In this episode I cover who would be a good fit and who you should perhaps avoid and which characteristics and skills you would want them to bring to the party. As with any of the topics covered on the show I am here to help. Email me at or head over to to find out more.
As a family business grows the need for the right forums to be in place to discuss the important strategic goals of the business is really important. Once such forum is the Board of Directors. In this episode of the show I discuss when you would want to introduce a board to the family business, and how. Who sits on the board, what are their responsibilities? How many board members should there be and how are board meetings structured. As with any of these issues, if I can be of any assistance to you and your family in introducing these forums or governance structures, please do not hesitate to get in touch
Continuing our look at Family Governance, in this episode I discuss the Family Assembly, or Retreat / meeting.  I cover what they are, who attends them and what subjects are covered, along with some hints and tips as to how to get your own family meetings up and running. We also look at how they interact with the other elements of Governance that we have been discussing over recent episodes. As ever if you need any help putting any of this in place, please get in touch
The Family Council

The Family Council


Family Councils create a bridge between the business family and the family business board. In this episode of the show I explain what a family council is, what roles and responsibilities they have and how you would typically elect members to the council. I also cover the important role of the Chair of the family council, the skills they are likely to need and the way in which the Family Council interacts with the business and the family. As ever if you would like any help with establishing your own Governance, please get in touch
The Family Charter is the cornerstone or foundation document of a family governance system. It is the bedrock on which everything else is built. It is also known as a Family Constitution or agreement. It is the main document that the family use to outline their values and vision for the family business.  Whilst rare they are gaining recognition and being adopted by many families. In this episode i explore why they are useful and how to get started with your own. If you need help with this, please get in touch or visit for more information.
What is Governance?

What is Governance?


Governance is a word that is often thrown around by the family business advisory community and with good reason. However, it is often taken for granted what we mean by 'governance' and so to kick off this series on that very subject I thought it would be useful to provide an overview of what governance is. Why it is useful, some of the common barriers to putting governance in place and then some tips on how to get started. You can find details of the Wates Principles mentioned in the show here: ( You can also access the brilliant report from the IFB Research Foundation here: (
When the podcast started the intention was for it to become a valuable resource for family businesses around the world. I have a passion for providing useful content and support to family businesses and this is shared by the Institute for Family Business. With this in mind we have agreed to collaborate with each other going forward. The podcast is moving to a series based podcast with series on Governance, Succession, Family Dynamics and Family Business Theory. I will still be interviewing selected experts from around the world and showcasing the brilliant work that family businesses around the world do. Head over to to find out more about the great support that the IFB can provide you.
George and I headed along to the fourth Family Business Network conference in Carlisle. It was a fantastic conference with great speakers and guests, I was also asked to record a live podcast and this is the result. I interview George Bryan who grow up at Drayton Manor Park, listen to this episode if you want to hear his views on the transitions that he has witnessed and been part of and why Toto the chimpanzee doesn't like him very much! You can find out more about the work of Sue and Dave at the Family Business Network by visiting their website here: ( You can connect with George on Linked In: ( You can also find out about his consultancy business by visiting
Succession Planning (or continuity planning!) is such a broad topic and as such it can be intimidating and very easy to put off. In this episode I speak with Daniel Trimarchi and we break down the three core elements of succession / continuity planning in a family business.  Daniel Trimarchi is a Senior Manager and Family Business specialist with KPMG, at the time of recording he was about to embark on a role with KPMG in Canada, but before he left we grabbed some time to discuss the three main elements of succession or continuity planning.   Daniel can be found on Linked In here: You can also find out more about the work of KPMG here:
The Family Business sector in the UK contributes more than the annual budget for the NHS each year. Their importance cannot be under-stated and the IFB have produced a report that highlights the trends and challenges facing family businesses today.  In this episode I speak to Fiona Graham of the Institute for Family Business about the findings in the report and what family businesses can learn from these findings.  Fiona Graham is the IFB Director of External Affairs and Policy. She is responsible for leading the IFB’s government and media relations, and policy development. She has over a decade’s experience in policy and public affairs. Fiona also sits on the Government’s SME Advisory Board. You can find the report here:  You can get in touch with Fiona on Linked In here:
Steve's previous episode remains the most popular episode to date and so there is huge pressure on him delivering again in this show!    Luckily he doesn't disappoint! In this interview I chat to Steve about the book he mentioned he was writing during our previous interview. The book is called Interdependent Wealth: How Family Systems Theory Illuminates Successful Intergenerational Wealth Transitions.  The book builds on the Bowen Theory that Steve introduced us to before and looks at the actions that family's and their advisers can take to help with this transition.    You can buy the book on Amazon by following the below links:    UK - (   US - (   Canada - (   You can also find out more about Steve here: (  
Each year The IFB hold a conference for Family Businesses and if you missed it, check out this episode to hear what the key points and takeaways were from the conference.  We hear about the importance of cultivating culture and how family owned businesses are perfectly placed to create working cultures that attract and retain staff.  Elizabeth Bagger is the IFB Director General. She joined the IFB in 2009 and, after having spent over seven years designing and running the IFB’s programme, she took over as Executive Director in 2016. Prior to that, Elizabeth spent three years working in international corporate governance and eight in her own family business in Denmark.  You can find out more about The Institute for Family Business here: ( You can connect with Elizabeth on Linked In here:
One of the most common questions we are asked when considering the 'best' path for next generation family is whether or not they should seek experience outside of the family business.  How do next gen go about seeking this experience and is there a danger that this will mean that they won't actually return to the family business.  I chat to Andrew Keyt and address these questions in this episode.  You can find out more about Andrew here: or on Linked In here:
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