Family business forums are a one-stop education resource.
Ten years ago if a family business had family problems, the usual response was to hush it up. Nobody, certainly not senior members of the firm, wanted to talk about embarrassments such as the father and son not getting along, siblings entangled in a Cain-and-Abel succession struggle, or a spouse who wouldn't talk to his in-laws because he thought his wife was being shabbily treated in the business.
Now, confidential forums where people can talk about these problems are available and in vogue, thanks to the 130 or so university-affiliated family business institutes and forums around the country--scores of which have opened in the past few years.
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