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Cross Cultures – Recently Featured in New York Times

Each family that runs its own business also has its own culture, say two psychologists who work with wealthy families. And understanding those cultures — which these psychologists break down into three groups — can make it easier to resolve intergenerational or cross-cultural conflicts that arise as the business matures and expands.

The psychologists, James Grubman and Dennis T. Jaffe, last year published a book that offers a framework for understanding the three cultural approaches that they say prevail in family businesses. The “individualists,” who tend to be clustered in North America and Western Europe, foster creativity at the employee level. The “collective harmony” view, which prevails in parts of Asia, views family and business as an integrated whole.

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Governing the Family Enterprise

Just Released: New Working Paper from Wise Counsel Research

Upon reaching the third generation, business families face a set of new challenges. Internal and external forces threaten the family’s ability to continue as partners. But the potential for what they can do if they decide to continue is incredible. A family reaching this milestone faces a choice point — should we continue together as a financial or business entity, or just distribute what we have and let each household more forward in their own way? A few courageous families make a conscious decision to continue united. By sharing the experience of families who have successfully crashed through this barrier, we offer a roadmap of the hard work and expansive outcomes that result.

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