We have partnered with The Family Business Podcast, hosted by Russ Haworth, to help providing family businesses with tips and guidance on key family business questions. 










Re-Imagining Transitions

In this two part interview with Dennis Jaffe, Ken McCracken, Daniel Trimarchi and Stacy Allred we explore the topics covered in the white paper that they have co-authored.

The collaboration is an example of the work being undertaken via the Ultra High Net Worth Institute (www.uhnwinstitute.org).

The white paper covers three key elements of transition planning

1 – Rethink

2 – Rebalance

3 – Re-invent

Through this discussion we explore each of these areas and gain insights from the guests on some of the key areas of this ever present topic within family business and family enterprise.

Part One

Part Two

Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves

In this episode of the show I discuss three common myths that are often thrown at family businesses as rules or facts in order for them to act to avoid becoming a statistic themselves.

The first myth is that around the number of family businesses making it to the third generation and what the often cited statistics are actually related to.

We then look at the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves myth, which has been around far longer than the statistics about succession, but is equally as unreliable as the stats.

I also cover the common statement that “all you need is Governance” and highlight why I believe that in fact the discussions around the issues that can lead to governance are far more valuable than governance itself.

Family Business Week

In this episode I am joined by Fiona Graham from the Institute for Family Business as we discuss Family Business Week, some interesting research that will shortly be published and we debunk the myth that family businesses are old fashioned, “Mom and Pop Shops”.

We also explore the contribution that family businesses make to the UK and global economies and discuss the topics that have been front of mind for family businesses on the recent IFB Tour!

Myth of the Silver Spoon

I am joined on this show by Kristin Keffeler as we discuss the myth of the silver spoon. This happens to be the title of Kristin’s excellent new book which you can find out more about here.

In this really engaging conversation with Kristin we hear about her own story of growing up in a wealthy family.

Kristin discusses how our relationship with wealth is not the same as our relationship with money and that there are various forms of clutter that, if we can address, we can transform those relationships and become our true selves.

Rules or Myths

In this episode of the show I am joined by Dr Jim Grubman as we discuss an article he has written for International Family Offices. In this article he explores the so called “70% Rule”. This “rule” states that 70% of wealth transfers globally, fail.

In the show Jim highlights which studies, evidence and statistics went in to the publication of the “rule” and why it is essential for practitioners and the families that we serve to ensure that we are not repeating so called “rules” as a marketing or fear tactic. 

We also look at what can be done in the future to ensure we are using accurate, robust and sufficiently well diversified research criteria to understand patterns rather than to create rules or myths that can be misleading. 



This series focusses on The Quest for Legitimacy, an academic research project that I have been working on with Dr Jamie Weiner. It looks at the impact on the rising generation of growing up in prominent families.

Episode 1 – Introduction to The Quest for Legitimacy

In the first episode of the series we meet Jamie and hear about the depth of his experience across all of society, from Cook County Jail to large family enterprises. He shares the experience of growing up as the son of a Rabbi and the impact it had on his own life.

We dive into the research and what motivated it along with an outline for the four phases of The Quest.

Episode 2 – The Four Phases of The Quest

In this episode we delve much deeper into The Quest for Legitimacy and explore the four phases.

In particular we look at examples from the research that highlight how the phases feel and are experienced. We discuss the fact that the phases are not linear and that at any point in your life you can be taken back into an awareness phase that can lead to opportunities for growth.

Episode 3 – Breaking Moments and Liminality

The research uncovered commonalities among the experiences of the people we spoke to irrespective of their background, their gender or where they grew up in the World.

One such commonality was the presence of what we refer to as ‘Breaking Moments’ in their lives. These are events that can seem insignificant or be very significant at the time, but that lead to a period of ‘Liminality’, or a feeling of being betwixt and between.

For one of our participants it was being fired by their father via an email whilst on holiday, for another it was a seemingly throw away comment from their grandfather, for another it was breaking their arm.

We each experience ‘Breaking Moments’ in our lives and what can come from them is fascinating.

Episode 4 – Who is The Quest for Legitimacy For?

When we started the research that has lead to us discovering the phases of The Quest for Legitimacy and the presence and importance of breaking moments, we didn’t envisage it leading to the publication of a book let alone, being published by Wiley.

The feedback we have received from those who we spoke with for the research, has been fantastic. We often heard that they wished this has existed when they were experiencing their breaking moments. It would have helped with alleviating some of the loneliness that was experienced at the time.

Jamie and I are driven and passionate about helping as many people as we can through this research and in this episode we discuss the practical ways in which the research can be applied to people’s lives.



On this week’s show, I speak about the topic of ‘professionalising’ the family business. The term is not one that I am a huge fan of as it can suggest that until that point everything you did was unprofessional.

I explain what the term ‘professionalisation’ means and the circumstances under which it can arise.  I also look at some of the common concerns or barriers to professionalisation and how to overcome them.

There are many benefits to professionalising your family business and I summarise these as well.

The episode I refer to where I speak in more detail about Non-Executive Directors can be found by following this link: https://fambizpodcast.com/non-executive-directors/


At the beginning of any new year it is easy to set ourselves New Year’s Resolutions that normally fizzle out by February. For the past couple of years I have approached my years in a different way and I thought I would share this with you in this episode.  

There are applicable tips in this show for you and your family business and how to shape your vision and goals.

Remember to sign up to the newsletter to receive my 2022 Mission Statement.


My Three Words from Chris Brogan – https://chrisbrogan.com/stories/community/3words2022/

Atomic Habits by James Clear – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atomic-Habits-Proven-Build-Break/dp/1847941834



On this week’s episode I discuss ownership philosophy. Have you as an ownership group sat down and discussed why you own a business together and what ownership means to each of you?  

My thoughts are that when a business is set up, ownership is a by-product of the founders passion, but as the business becomes something to pass to the next generation different perceptions of what ownership might mean to each of you can tensions within the business and the family.

Having the conversation around what ownership means to each of you, whether that is before or after ownership transition has happened, can be a really positive step in creating the foundation for a multi-generational business.



On this weeks episode we round off our series on sustainability with a discussion with Rennie Hoare, Partner and Head of Philanthropy at C. Hoare & Co. a Private Bank here in the UK, as well as discussing the history of the family business, and how Rennie became a Partner in the business we look at some of the emerging trends in philanthropy and in particular “sustainable philanthropy”.


As we continue our look at sustainability I am joined on the show by Maurizio Bragagni who is the CEO of Tratos. We discuss the strategy that Tratos have adopted over many years and highlight the fact that much of what is considered “sustainable” is in fact more achievable than perhaps first thought.

Maurizio tells us how decisions made 30 or 40 years ago are still evident today and that a sustainable strategy starts with profit.

I love the story we hear about the factory being expanded around an oak tree, for me this typifies the approach that Tratos have taken to their strategy.

You can find out more about this at their website: https://tratosgroup.com/

Maurizio also has a personal website here: https://www.bragagni.uk/


On this weeks episode of the show we continue our look at sustainability and I speak to Catherine Grum of BDO about the role that diversification is playing in this.

We look at what diversification is, what is driving the conversations that are being held about this and how to navigate the complexities that can arise when looking at diversifying.

We discuss the role that diversification can play in helping families achieve their sustainability agenda’s.

You can find out more about Catherine on Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherinegrum/

Or at the BDO Family Business Services page.



On this weeks show I am joined by Dr. Bridget Kustin as we discuss The Ownership Project. The project explores $1bn family enterprises and collates what they are doing into a “Toolkit for Responsible Ownership”.

The study looks at seven narratives that we often hear about family businesses:

  1. Family Business as a force for good
  2. We have a long term orientation. We think in generations, not financial quarters
  3. Family owners are uniquely agile
  4. Employees prefer working in a family-owned business. Our employees are like family
  5. I don’t consider the business as something that belongs to me. I consider myself a steward of it for the next generation.
  6. We care about our community
  7. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations

Continuing our series on Sustainability we explore some of these narratives and whether they are true because we tell ourselves they are true, or because we can evidence that they are true.

You can find out more information about The Ownership Project here:


You can access the toolkit here: https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2021-07/A_Toolkit_for_Responsible_Ownership_-_The_Ownership_Project_at_Oxford_Sa%C3%AFd_-_July_2021.pdf

Dr. Bridget Kustin

You can find out more about this weeks guest here: https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/about-us/people/bridget-kustin



On this weeks show I am joined by Becky Valentine from Spenbeck. They are a small family owned business based in Nottingham.

We discuss how they have used the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals or SDG’s to embrace sustainability at the core of what they do as a business.

Becky shares how they got started and the lessons they have learned along the way.

Spenbeck’s building health consultancy enables companies to take a holistic approach to their wellbeing strategies. By optimising the office physical environment through improvements to such components as indoor air quality, thermal comfort and lighting, Becky helps to maximise employee health and wellbeing. Feel free to get in touch with Becky for further details

You can find out more about Spenbeck here: www.spenbeck.co.uk



On this episode of the show I am joined by Josie Morris MBE. Josie is the MD of Woolcool Ltd, a 2nd Generation family business and a Certified B-Corp business. 

What is a B-Corporation?

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They are a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

There are a number of tools and links on the B Corporation website that allow you to assess where you are in terms of the requirements for certification. 

During the show Josie explains why this process was right for her family and for the business. 

Josie is MD at Woolcool, a UK based, 2nd Generation, family business founded by her mother in 2009. Woolcool are leading innovators in their sector, producing insulated packaging using Sheep Wool, providing a sustainable alternative to Polystyrene.



Continuing our series on Sustainability I am joined this week by Fiona Graham from the IFB.

We discuss a really important consultation that the UK Government are undertaking on audit and governance reforms. You can read more about that here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restoring-trust-in-audit-and-corporate-governance-proposals-on-reforms 

 If you would like to respond to the consultation you can do so by following this link: https://beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/business-frameworks/audit-and-corporate-governance-review

We also discuss the recent IFB conference and how many of the firms that both spoke and attended the conference have sustainability very high on their agenda. We also cover many of the challenges that families have in this area and the resources that are available to help.

Much of the focus around sustainability is on ‘big’ business and it can sometimes feel as though smaller businesses are left to their own devices. With this in mind the UK Government have launched a campaign called “Together for our Planet” and you can find out more about that here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/calling-all-small-businesses-to-lead-the-charge-to-net-zero

 If you missed the IFB’s TEDx event you can catch all the sessions from that here: https://www.ifb.org.uk/resources/for-owners/tedxinstituteforfamilybusiness-family-business-as-a-force-for-good/




It can be quite intimidating to know how and where to start and so in this episode I speak with Andrew Bryson who is Head of Business Transformation at FBN International.

What is Sustainability?

According to the UN’s own website, sustainability is defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

In the show Andrew and I discuss the joint initiative between The UN and FBN-i. This has been called Family Business for Sustainable Development and you can read loads more about it here.

 To help family businesses as much as possible there are ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ that you can commit to and use as a way to focus your minds on what you want to address. 

 In addition “The Pledge” focusses on four key areas: 

  • Sustainable Growth 
  • Environmental Stewardship 
  • Social Inclusion 
  • Good Governance

 We discuss what this means for you and your business in the episode.


If you are looking to grow your business and are considering ways in which to do that, it may be that private equity is a way to access both liquidity and support.

In this episode of the show I am joined by Dominic Graham from Waterland Private Equity as we discuss the different types of private equity, tackle some of the pre-conceptions and look at the reasons why you might want to take a close look at private equity.


In this episode I explore the importance of having clarity as an individual as to what you want to achieve in life, clarity as a family as to why you own your business together and how these can be combined to influence the strategy of the business.


In this episode I am joined by Jamie Yeunger and Piet Hurkmans from Storykeep, a private podcasting company.

We discuss what private podcasting is and how it can be used as a tool for communicating within your family business, or as a way to help preserve your family history and protect your legacy.

You can find out more about Storykeep on their website www.storykeep.com


The past year or so has seen businesses facing unprecedented trading conditions and whilst some have thrived, others have not and are simply surviving. Some may be facing the difficult position of looking at the ongoing viability of their business.

On this show I am joined by Gareth and Steph Buckley from The Insolvency Company. We look at when a business becomes insolvent and the steps you can take to understand your position.

If you feel your business is struggling, there are options and we cover these in our discussions.

You can find out more about The Insolvency Company by visiting their website which is https://www.theinsolvencycompany.co.uk/


One of the elements to the last year or so that we may look back on as a silver lining to the cloud that has been the global pandemic is that it has accelerated certain elements of how we run our businesses.  One area this has been seen is in the digitisation of the family business. Whether that is in our processes, our documentation or simply in how we meet with others using technology in the absence of an ability to meet face to face.

However, digitisation is also seen as one of the areas of business that we find more challenging and so on this week’s so Russ speaks to Edouard Janssen and Edouard Thijssen of Trusted Family about how they tackled the issue of digitisation in their own family businesses and how this launched a product that other families can use.

Their story highlights the opportunities that may exist within your own family business and the tips that they share will help you with how to get started.

You can find out more about Trusted Family by visiting their site www.trustedfamily.com


When a family business is sold, there can be significant amounts of cash released and when these amounts reach certain levels, it may be appropriate for you to consider the establishment of a Family Office to manage your family wealth.  There are options available to you regarding the type of family office you establish and these are covered in this episode.

Russ and Kirby also look at the timeframes you should be considering when making the decision to establish a family office and the discussions needed to ensure that there is purpose and a vision for the wealth and that a plan exists to achieving that.  They look at the impact on dynamics of moving from an operating company that generates the family wealth to running a business that aims to preserve that wealth.

If you would like to know more about the guest on this weeks show you can visit her website: www.tamarindpartners.com


Many of the common challenges that the families Russ works with are facing can be traced back in some way or another to a boundaries issues. When you work with your family the informality or lack of boundaries can be empowering, it can be what sets you apart as a family business. However, it can also be what creates the tensions that if left unchecked can lead to full blown conflict and the potential demise of the family business. 

Russ is joined by Melissa on this episode to discuss the importance of boundaries and provide some practical examples and steps as to how you can start to introduce more formal boundaries within your own family business.


A relationship breakdown can be really difficult for a family to deal with at the best of times, however when this involves the family business there is an additional level of complexity that needs to be thought through.

In this episode Russ is joined by Zahra Pabani from law firm Irwin Mitchell as they discuss what you can do to protect the families assets, including the family business, in the event of a relationship breakdown.  They look at

  • Living together agreements
  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  • Post-Nuptial Agreements

They also look at what characteristics need to be in place for ex-spouses to remain in business together following a divorce, should you wish to.  You can find out more about Irwin Mitchell and Zahra here: https://www.irwinmitchell.com/our-people/zahra-pabani


Russ says “When I started the podcast I had no real expectations beyond trying to put out insightful information to family businesses from experts around the world.  I would love to hear from you with suggestions for future episode and I look forward to bringing you the next 100!”

In this episode he reflects on the previous 99 episodes and summarises his thoughts on important issues such as:

  • Communication
  • Governance
  • The need for coherent advice
  • Succession does not mean success



On this weeks show Russ is joined by Dr Jim Grubman. They are discussing the Ten Domains of Family Wealth. This is a piece of thought leadership from The Ultra High Net Worth Institute that looks at all of the various domains that families with wealth need to focus on and highlights to advisers that their roles have changed.

If you want to find out more about The UHNW Institute you can visit their site here: www.uhnwinstitute.org

If you want to learn more about Jim and his work you can visit: www.jamesgrubman.com


Trusts can be a fantastic way to specify how our assets are used and how our wishes are carried out beyond our lifetimes. They can be used to pass down wealth between generations including the family business.

However, there are a number of things to be aware of and considered before setting a trust up and in this episode Russ is joined by Matt Braithwaite from Wedlake Bell as they discuss Trusts and their uses.

We cover :

  • What they are
  • What roles accompany the trust
  • Who should be your trustees
  • Their interaction with other legal arrangements you may have made
  • How to get started

You can find out more about Matt here: https://wedlakebell.com/people/matthew-braithwaite/


This weeks show is an interview with Jeremy Manford. Jeremy is the CEO of his family business, Compu-Stor based in Australia. In this interview you’ll hear Jeremy’s experiences of joining the business, succeeding his father and how he and his brother have recently clarified their roles to make best use of their resources.

You’ll also hear about the value that Jeremy and his family have found in being members of Family Business Australia and how valuable having peers you can discuss challenges with is. Something that Russ will specifically be speaking about in the 8 February episode, available here.


Succession Planning is a complex process, there are many moving parts to it and lots to consider. This can put a lot of people off starting the process or leaving them not knowing how or when to start. In this episode Russ shares some tips on how to get started.

1 – Start Early

2 – Separate out the different elements of succession

3 – Look at the role of Family Governance

4 – Keep an open mind

5 – Have open and honest conversations

He also covers when to get started and without wanting to ruin the surprise, the answer is now!



One third of businesses that go to market to sell actually conclude successfully. This episode looks at some of the common emotional barriers to these transactions and what we can do to help avoid them.

If you are a professional adviser to family business owners this is a must listen episode as Denise shares her experience of helping sellers to overcome these barriers.

We look at the emotional aspects of selling or passing your business on to the next generation and ask the question:

What does work provide for you?

As a business owner no-one prepares you for letting go of your business, the role you play in it and the emotional wellbeing that it provides


Should you gift your family business to the next generation?

Should you leave the business to your children in your will?

Or, should the next generation be asked to buy the family business at full market value?

When do you start the discussions about these topics and how do you avoid them becoming argumentative and potentially damaging to your family?

We cover this and a whole lot more in this thought provoking episode of the podcast.

You can find out more about Tom and his book at: www.everyfamilysbusiness.com


Debbie Ekins has recently decided to pursue a career away from her family business. This wasn’t an easy decision or one that she made quickly.

In this episode Russ talks to Debbie about her experience, the emotional rollercoaster she experienced whilst deciding what she wanted to do and how she told her parents that she didn’t want to take over the family business.

Debbie shares her story and there are a huge number of lessons that can be taken from it.


Sometimes the right thing to do with a family owned business is to sell it. If that liquidity event provides sufficient wealth and financial independence for the owners of that business, they may want to look at ways of passing that wealth on to future generations in a tax efficient way that also allows them to retain control over those assets.

One vehicle for doing this is a Family Investment Company. This episode explore these businesses with Helen Clarke from Law firm Irwin Mitchell, looking at what circumstances these can be suitable and the process to go through to set one up, how a FIC can help retain control of assets, educate the next generation and become a generational planning tool. It also looks at some of the ‘what-ifs’ and pitfalls to avoid along with covering the importance of family governance and robust legal structures.


Succession Planning is complex and whilst there are financial and technical complexities there are also emotional complexities that can get in the way of succession planning. In this episode Russ explores those and looks at some of the common issues he comes across in his work.


In  this episode Russ is joined by Mike Kane from Turcan Connell. Mike is a corporate lawyer and works with family businesses to help them with their succession planning.

In this chat they cover what considerations you might want to think over before starting the process of succession planning. They cover the aspects of an MBO, a dynastic succession and alternatives such as full sale and a sale to an employee owned trust.



As we emerge from this global pandemic now might be a useful time to review how things are set up and if that matches everyone’s expectations.  An actual lifeboat drill is essentially a practice evacuation of a ship using the lifeboats on board. Russ am not advocating everyone rushing out and practising evacuations, however it is the purpose of a lifeboat drill that is important here.

The reason that lifeboat drills are important for sailors is that if and when they need to use the lifeboats they want the reassurance of knowing that:

  1. The lifeboat does the job it is there to do; and
  2. If anything does go wrong that it is not at a time of emergency and you can do something about it. 

A lifeboat drill for your family business is essentially looking at a number of ‘what if’ scenarios that allow you to test that the legal, financial and business procedures you have in place are fit for purpose.


The IFB’s Fiona Graham join Russ again to provide further insights into the work that she and the Institute for Family Business are doing on behalf of family businesses here in the UK.

They look at:

The impact that COVID has had and some of the innovation that has been seen from the UK’s family businesses.

What policies the IFB are lobbying Government about, specifically linked to COVID and away from COVID.

Some of the key findings from the 2020 State of the Nation report including an increase in female leadership amongst family businesses.

The fact that family businesses tend not to access all of the support that is available and the impact that may be having on their finances and attitudes to taking on debt.

The importance of applying for Research and Development credits

Find TEDx resources here:


You can read the State of the Nation report here:


There is additional COVID-19 guidance for family businesses here



Arbikie Estate is a family-owned working farm in Scotland. This episode looks at the innovative and collaborative way that this family have been creating new products, including a carbon positive gin and vodka product. We hear about the history of the family and how the current owners returned to the business having initially pursued careers away from it. Iain Stirling describes how the collaboration happened and what others can learn from the opportunities that exist. We also discuss the impact of COVID and Brexit on the business and how they are approaching their working operations as a result.


Bobby Stover is America’s Family Office Leader at EY. He joins the show this week to discuss the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to family offices and how these are being tackled.

We look at how some are adapting in different ways to others.

What will the coming months and years mean for how family offices operate?

How are different generations dealing with the current situation?

Alongside these challenges we also discuss how best we can keep staff within a family office engaged as well as family members who may have already been struggling with feeling an attachment to the family office.

What different ways can be explored to help with communication at a time when we are working more remotely.


We have spoken already on the show about the importance of looking after our wellbeing during the current COVID pandemic, and this is something that my guest this week feels very passionately about.

Friend of the show, Mitzi Perdue joins Russ on this episode to talk about some of the tips she and her co-authors have shared in their book – How to be Up in Down Times.

We hear about the importance of self-care, the subjects to avoid talking about and negative impacts of stress.

We also have a surprise phone in moment from Mark Victor Hansen himself!

Mitzi also shares her passion for the fight against human trafficking and how we can all get involved in this fight.


On this episode Russ is joined by Dr. Jim Grubman who is an internationally recognised consultant, speaker, and educator in the multidisciplinary field of family wealth psychology. He works with affluent families and their advisors to understand how wealth and life can be integrated successfully.

On this episode we cover many different topics. We look at how different generations have reacted to recent events and experiences.

We explore the role of governance and discuss what ‘good governance’ looks like and what it does for families in business.

We explore the ‘resilience’ and what that really means during this current crisis.

Many families are finding out what areas they have done well in and where they need to learn when it comes to both governance and succession (or transition) planning.

We also look at the important role that advisers play in working with families during these transitions and the elements that make up the ‘Generative Alliance’ that can help family businesses to thrive.

You can find out more about Jim here: www.jamesgrubman.com


On this weeks show Russ is joined by Guillermo Salazar as they discuss what family businesses can be doing to help prepare their next generation given that we are living in turbulent times.

They look at the different types of mindset that people are adopting during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this impacts your family business.

In addition Guillermo talks us through a case study of a family that he has worked with to help them prepare their next generation to be owners of the business.

About Guillermo Salazar

Expert on corporate governance, and the strategic planning of succession and family patrimony. He has served as advisor for numerous business families on their protocols, generational transition, alignment of family vision and values for decision-making, and conflict resolution. Author of the books “Family Businesses: Tools for the Management of Love and Money” and “Handbook for the Family Business”. Lecturer and educator in the field of the family business in Latin America. Fellow member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) in Boston, USA. Recipient in 2015 of the International Achievement Award of the Family Firm Institute.

Website: exaudionline.com


For over 40 years, Dennis has been one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting. As both an organisational consultant and clinical psychologist, he helps multi-generational families to develop governance practices that build the capability of next generation leadership and ensure ongoing capability of financial organisations and family offices to serve their family clients.

We draw on Dennis’ expertise and experience in this episode to look at how you re-invent your family business after the pandemic.

We look at what other family businesses have done through previous crises and in particular those that Dennis has studied for his book ‘Borrowed from your Grandchildren’. This looks at family businesses that have survived for more than 100 years and explores the common characteristics of these firms.

In a wide ranging conversation we cover:

  • What families can be doing now
  • Reviewing why you are in business together
  • The roles each generation can play
  • How to build resilience

You can find out more about Dennis and his work by heading to www.dennisjaffe.com


As we emerge from this crisis there is an opportunity to ensure continued success for your family business. Choosing the right strategy will be the difference between doing this in a way that is aligned to your values as a family, and coming across in a genuine way, compared to appearing as tone deaf and icky.

Jeremy Miller is a the Founder of Sticky Branding a branding and strategy agency based in Toronto, Canada.

Jeremy works with family businesses to help them to grow their brands. He used these techniques to grow his own family business before deciding to sell the business to focus on what he was passionate about.

In this episode we discuss branding, strategy and give practical and real examples of businesses who are positioning themselves to thrive in an ‘After-COVID’ world.

We also discuss succession and the role that the next generation can play in the future strategy of the business.

You can find out more about Jeremy here: www.stickybranding.com


We are living in unprecedented times where we are fearful for our families health, that of our own and the prospects for our businesses. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the situation, so in this episode Russ offers some reasons to be hopeful.

Many businesses now are aware of and accessing the support available to them from Government and have started to look at what they need to do within their businesses and within the environment they find themselves in.

In this episode Russ discuss some of the reasons he is hopeful and optimistic and shares some tips on how to spend any additional time that you may have as a result of the Government guidance to stay home and save lives. 


In this episode Russ talks to Managing Director of Family Business Norway, Simone Møkster, Director General of the Institute for Family Business Elizabeth Bagger, 4th generation family business member and founder of the IFB, Alex Scott and John Learmonth who has written studies how family businesses reacted to the Second World War and were able to come out of the crisis stronger. 

Whilst there are many differences between the two historical events of WWII and Coronavirus, there are some key characteristics that family companies showed during WWII, which we can learn from today:

– Entrepreneurship

– Leadership

– Perseverance

– Diversification

– Human Assets

– Getting organised

– Reputation

You can find John Learmonth’s article “FIC Crisis Management and Survival – nine practical takeaways from family business war stories” here.


With Corona Virus impacting more and more businesses and people around World, Russ follows up the 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 Russ offers 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 mentioned in the episode are as follows:




You can email Fiona: Fiona.Graham@ifb.org.uk




Your website is your shop window for the world. It is likely to be the first experience your customers have of your brand. Given its importance Russ chats to family business Jammy Digital about what your website should include.  

Martyn and Lindsay are a husband and wife team who run their own web design agency. In this episode Russ chats with them about the areas you will want to focus on with your websites and importantly what not to do as well.


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.




Russ is joined on this episode by Daniel Trimarchi as they discuss a recent article from a collaboration between KPMG Private Enterprise and The STEP Project Global Consortium looks at how to create value through Governance.

Empowering the future of family business – a four part article series on some of the key topics impacting business families including succession, women in family business, governance and legacy – Empowering the future of family business – KPMG Global (home.kpmg).  Global family business report to be released March 18th titled ‘Mastering a comeback: How family businesses are triumphing over COVID-19’ – Global Family Business Report – KPMG Global (home.kpmg)

They discuss the following:

 – What is Governance?

 – What do we mean by ‘value’?

 – In what ways the benefits of good governance outweigh the negatives of implementing good governance.


Russ is joined by Dominic Rubino, a business coach who has historically owned and worked in a family business.

This episode looks at what we can learn from Dom’s experience of working in a relatively informal business and governance structure with his cousin; how money can be destructive and what happens when you experience rapid growth in the early stages of the business; and at the need for governance and ‘professionalisation’ and the impact on businesses of not having this in place.



How does all that we’ve explored in this series tie together? And how can you create family business culture that reflects the value of your family?

Useful links:

Maintaining Family Values


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 Russ discusses these principles and how they can be adapted and adopted by your Family Business.

He also looks 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.


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 Russ covers 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 a family business grows, the need for the right forums to be in place to discuss the important strategic goals of the business becomes increasingly important. Once such forum is the Board of Directors.

In this episode Russ discusses 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.


Continuing our look at Family Governance, in this episode Russ discusses the Family Assembly, or retreat/meeting: what they are, who attends 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 the interaction between a family assembly, a family council and the family charter and provide a reminder of the key benefits of family governance.  


Family Councils create a bridge between the business family and the family business board. In this episode Russ explains what a Family Council is, what roles and responsibilities it has and how you would typically elect its members.

Russ also covers the important role of the Chair, the skills they are likely to need and the way in which the Family Council interacts with the business and the family. 


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 Russ explores why they are useful and how to get started with your own.


What is family business governance? Why is it useful? What are some of the common barriers to putting governance in place? Where can you start from?

Useful links:

Wates Corporate Governance Principles

Family Business Governance: Evidence and Implications


An update from Russ Haworth at the Family Business Podcast on what’s coming next in 2020.



On this episode Russ is joined by Peter Vogel. Peter is Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Global Family Business Centre at IMD Business School in Switzerland and the co-author of the book The Family Philanthropy Navigator. 

They discuss how philanthropy has evolved throughout history and look at the latest trends in this fascinating area. They talk about how you as a family would decide on the types of philanthropic activity you want to pursue and where to start when looking to begin your giving journey.

To explore more about strategic philanthropy in family business, access our free guide here.



In this episode our very own Richard Hearn (IFB Membership Director) is in conversation with Russ and Daniel White, Assistant Director of the Kansas Family Business Forum. They discuss what benefits associations such as the IFB and the KFBF bring to family businesses. So if you’ve been considering whether to join our community, this episode is for you.


Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer from Banyan Global discuss the 5 rights of ownership and much more from their book Harvard Business Review – Family Business Handbook. Josh and Rob describe these rights as being:

1 The Right to Design

2 The Right to make decisions

3 The Right to Value

4 The Right to Inform

5 The Right to Transfer

In this engaging and really enjoyable chat Josh and Rob share their thoughts on what these rights mean for you. You can find out more about Josh and Rob here: https://banyan.global/