Are you next in line to own the family business? Don't go it alone--peer groups can help.
If you're about to take over a family business and worried that those peer-to-peer meetings of the "next generation" exist for airing complaints about the senior generation, relax. "Dealing with family issues is the thread, but the meetings don't focus on beating up on dad," says Stephen Henry, a member of Goshen College's Next Generation Roundtable in Goshen, Indiana, and president of Robert Henry Corp., a general contracting firm in South Bend, Indiana.
So what do these meetings cover? "Family business issues are part of the picture, but in our group, substantive issues take center stage," says Stephen McClure, a family business advisor in South Bend and facilitator of Goshen's Next Generation Roundtable. Goshen's Next Generation peers have picked up ideas from each other and outside experts on how to lower health-care costs, recover from disasters and even establish effective boards of outside advisors.
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