Consulting Conversations: Leadership Development in Business Succession

Author:Hank Harris

Post Intro
In this Consulting Conversations episode, Hank Harris answers:I think that a couple of things I've seen work well in leadership development in a family business: is I think that if you're bringing family into the business, it is much healthier if those family members work somewhere else and are required to jump through some hoops before they just come into the family business. The key idea would be to make sure that you're screening the family members out and not letting them just default to being in the family business because they can't figure out what else to do with themselves. That usually sets up some trouble for the future generation of the business, so that's a big thing. And I think most companies, if they are careful, can do some good things to make sure that family members come into the business reasonably. There are some great programs out there in terms of pure leadership development that actually help people understand themselves and how they come across as leaders and...
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How Much Is Enough?

Author:Hank Harris

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Life is good. I have my own business, and it affords me a nice lifestyle, nice home, cars, vacations, clubs, and great schools for the kids. Living the dream, and yes, business is good.Or is it? How good should business be – or how much is enough? While every business is unique, there are common ways to think about this question. When you buy a car, it comes with a built-in set of instruments, dials, and gauges (all increasingly electronic). These help you run the car successfully and navigate to your desired destination. When you organically create a business, there is no "built-in" dashboard. Most successful business owners need to create their own.Since the financial side of the business is the most implicitly measurable, we will focus on that aspect, starting with the question posed above. When your business makes a profit, some of that money will be earmarked for reinvestment in the business. This may take the form of capital expenditures or building working capital on the bala...
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Economics 201- Get Ready Now For the Next Down Cycle

Author:Hank Harris

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Most of those cycles occur "organically" meaning they are a function of basic economic factors (supply, demand, pricing, etc.), as well as mass human psychological reactions to those factors. For example, out of the five recessions I have lived through thus far, the first four were caused, respectively, by: oil prices and inflation, a major tax reform act impacting real estate, a technology bubble, and a housing-related financial system meltdown. The fifth was different – caused by an event exogenous to normal economic fluctuations, i.e., the Covid 19 pandemic. Because Covid came from outside the economic system, its impacts were unique in many ways. Add to that government response flooding money into the system, probably assisting an extraordinary recovery, but perhaps also setting the stage for the present. At present we have assets that are overvalued – almost across the board. We also have high inflation and a Federal Reserve with limited capacity to do much about it.Will all of...
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Consulting Conversation: Market Penetration Approach

Author:Hank Harris

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Director of Consulting Hank Harris explains in this latest edition of Consulting Conversations.Who's going to win: the company with the wrong culture for the market or the market? It's an old saying that in a fight between you and the world, you should put your bet on the world. The market will win that fight, and that's a great example of where consultants are sometimes brought in because the company's culture does have to change. If it doesn't change, they won't be able to adapt, and they won't be able to penetrate. It's really that simple. We'd love to hear from any private business hunt owner in North Carolina that thinks we could be of some help to them in understanding how their business gets better or where it might go in the future.
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